Nerd Novice Patreon Announcement!

We has some super lofty, awesome goals for the coming few months. Some of these goals include meeting William Shatner and James Marsters and more at Wizard World. And probably getting them to record "station identifier" clips for our show. I mean that would be amaaaaazing.

Other goals include ordering totally rad merchandise that I know you all are going to love and want ("Mornings Be Suck" mugs, anyone?). Also, stickers. Thousands of stickers.

Basically, we want to spread the Nerd Novice love. We have been producing a totally ad-free and fabulous podcast for over a year and a half now (since January 2013), and you all have been such devoted fans of the show. We love our Novicifers. (I'm going to make "Novicifers" happen, despite what Jim wants. It's just gonna happen, guys.) All of you listeners have been so great with engaging in conversation, telling your friends, and rating us on iTunes.

Now all there is left to do is to spread the kingdom of Nerd Novice further, and further, until more and more people become devoted listeners. Because we know they'll love it.

Help us, Novicifer people. You're our only hope. is an amazing website devoted to funding artists and media-makers to help them continue their work. You can be a patron of Nerd Novice by donating even $1/episode, and it would help us incredibly! On Patreon you can set your max for the month, so just in case we get crazy and put out 10 episodes in a month, you don't need to worry about going over your budget. Seriously, this could be a $5/month pledge. All you have to do is go to to support us.

Extra bonus: We are now going to be producing our podcast for video, too, so you can see us on YouTube!

Still not convinced? Watch our video below. Maybe you'll change your mind! If you can't donate, please consider at least sharing our video on your Facebook page or Twitter so we can spread the word!

THANK YOU! Show us your bits!

Castle Season 7 premiere leaves me with more questions than answers

"Castle" Season 7 Premiere | Nerd Novice blog

As always, Nerd Novice is chock full of spoilers. You have been warned.

In case you missed it, I was live tweeting the season 7 premiere of Castle on the Nerd Novice Twitter last night. First off, the night started in high drama because my cable box had to be rebooted at 9:54, and it didn't finish until 10:01 and I missed the first 30 seconds of the show, holy crap. But I survived.

And, as it turns out, so did Castle (but really, what else did we really expect?). At the end of season 6, Castle and Beckett were reveling in what was supposed to be their wedding day, when suddenly, on his way to the ceremony, Castle was pushed off the road by a black SUV. Next thing we know, Beckett receives a phone call and races to the scene of the accident, where she finds Castle's car engulfed in flames. The start of the season 7 premiere opens at the scene of the fire. Beckett immediately shouts that Castle is not there, the car is empty, so we know he did not burn in the fire. Well, duh. The show is called Castle. Sure, title characters have died before (Buffy, anyone?), but they always come back. They ALWAYS return. Sometimes twice.

Obviously, Beckett, Espo, and Ryan get all cop-ified and they start to investigate the crime. They find some leads but still no Castle.

Then all of a sudden, Beckett haircut is 4 inches shorter. Wait. How much time has passed? I was confused at this point. Did they expect me to not notice her haircut?

We find a campsite that seems to explain Castle's disappearance. He wanted to disappear. He tricked everyone. There's some money from somewhere that he is caught on camera depositing in a secret location. He was seen stealing a boat.

Wait. Seriously, though, has all this happened in a day? I'm still confused.

The FBI is involved and Espo is getting all frustrated and believes Castle betrayed them, even though Ryan's like, "Dude, he's our friend." The US Coast Guard finds Castle floating in a dinghy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He is admitted to the hospital and is unconscious. Beckett convinces Lanie to do a little checkup and investigation, and Lanie finds some weird things. A key sewn into his pants, a gunshot wound that has been healing for weeks (seriously I am so confused, how much time has passed?!), and evidence of antibodies for Dengue Fever, which is a tropical disease.

So, what? He's been shot and he was in the tropics and SERIOUSLY HOW MUCH TIME HAS PASSED?

Okay, at this point I realized that while live tweeting, I must've missed something. Someone casually mentions that it's been two months and I really, really did not have a clue when I was supposed to figure that out. Did it say "Two Months Later" on the bottom of the screen and I missed it?

This episode moved so quickly and didn't really feel like it fit the Castle formula; it seemed to me as if they were just trying to fast-forward through events so we could start on a new storyline with the new season. I know that traditionally, a TV show might have a character say something like "So how was your summer?" or whatever other dialogue to explain the months that have gone by in "real life."  I just felt like this particular episode could've done it better, such as using flashbacks, or showing a montage, or something to get us on track. I really didn't sympathize with Beckett when she saw him in the hospital and said, "I thought I'd never see him again," because I was mainly feeling like we just saw him yesterday.

Either way, I am completely curious about where Castle has been all of this time, especially since he does not remember a thing. I can't wait for next week, but I know that this plot will probably be dragged on for multiple episodes, if not the whole season. So I shall have to be patient and just enjoy the fact that Castle is on the air again.

"Forever" is, sadly, not another "Highlander"

As always, Nerd Novice is chock full of spoilers. You have been warned.

When I first saw the commercial spot for the upcoming pilot episode of “Forever” on ABC, I have to admit, I was intrigued. Mainly because I thought this could potentially be a 2014 version of “Highlander.” Man is immortal, flashbacks ensue, mysterious lore is involved, etc. Game on. I’m a fan of fantasy television.

Last night the pilot aired after a particularly grueling episode of “Dancing With the Stars” (Sorry, Mom), and I have to admit, I’m about 80% unimpressed.

We really didn’t need another crime drama, people. The scene where Dr. Henry Morgan sliced open the dead body of the subway conductor—oh yeah, the immortal guy is a medical examiner who deals with dead people on the regular—kinda made my stomach lurch. He was swishing around in there. I mean there were gurgly sounds and fleshy things. Look, I’m not a wuss, but the reason why I enjoy “Castle” and “Murder, She Wrote,” besides their mystery-author-becomes-mystery-solver similarities, is the fact that they aren’t too heavy on the gory details. Not that “Forever” is gory. I just have a feeling they won’t be shy with the whole blood-and-guts thing.

I digress. The dead body wasn’t the reason why I am mostly unimpressed with this show. It’s just… Making your show have a cool edge like IMMORTALITY, and then copping out and throwing it into the saturated CRIME DRAMA genre is just lame.

Speaking of crime, one thing I did not understand is how the bad dude poisoned the conductor behind the ear without him realizing. I mean, was that ever explained? Why do actors mumble on television? Half the time I can’t understand what the heck they are saying.

We could have a great and entertaining show with “Forever.” Something along the lines of, seemingly normal guy has a supernatural problem, and he’s just trying to figure out his shit and live his life, man. But other supernatural problems occur because that’s the nature of life when you’re immortal, so you find out some crazy stuff about your past, and you’re searching for the Truth, and all along you gain some righteous experience points, and inevitably a pretty lady finds out your secret (which endangers her but brings you closer together), and by the way, you are pretty badass with a sword. Just watch “Highlander” to know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, “Forever,” I feel, is going to be just another crime drama. There are a few reasons why I will keep watching, though: 1) The little baby from the Concentration Camp was Abe! That was adorableeeeeee. 2) The bad guy is also immortal, it seems? Interesting… 3) Because what else am I gonna do?

It turns out the second episode is airing tonight, in the show’s regularly allotted time slot (Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c). I’m planning on tuning in, for the sake of maybe decreasing my unimpressed percentage. We shall see. Anyone else with me?

Turn it up to 11

For some reason I prefer my fonts to be in size 11.

Writing term papers and essays ruined me of Times New Roman size 12, as I'm sure it did many others. I specifically remember being in junior high on our family Compaq and discovering Times New Roman size 10. It was a glorious moment. Somehow size 10 looked beautiful and different. It was like when I uncovered sans serif, only better. Times New Roman was normal, overused, boring. Arial was the "cool font." I didn't want to be cool and I didn't want to be boring, so when I found the uniqueness of size 10, I was sold. I'm pretty sure it was my AOL Instant Messager font for at least a year.

Discovering size 11 was even better. It was like a magnificent land where only the nerds would dwell, somehow standing out but probably not getting noticed. Knowing about size 11, I felt special. I would laugh in the face of my peers who couldn't even figure out how to change their font. Well, I didn't really laugh in their faces. But I was pretty snarky about it. In my head only. On the outside I was never snarky. In fact I don't think my peers ever knew I was into fonts.

Anyway. Let's talk more about fonts.

Is anyone else sick of Papyrus? I can't tell you how many restaurants and restaurant menus use that stupid font. We're not in some kind of half-scripty ancient Egypt times, people. I know you're typing, not scrawling on freshly pulped paper. The only thing Papyrus tells me is that you were too cheap to hire a graphic designer for your signage, which means you're probably too cheap to spend money on fresh produce, and you probably only carry domestic beers. No thanks.

I mentioned AIM a few paragraphs up; does anyone remember how much time and effort we spent making our "profile" look super sweet? This was back in the day where "profile" meant a giant text box that was not capable of HTML, just color coordinating and moody song lyrics and the occasionally-way-overused "~*~*~*" design. Every time I needed a change in life, I would spice up my AIM profile. When away messages were invented… the possibilities were endless. "Sorry, I'm not here" quickly turned into "I wanna run / I want to hide / I wanna tear down the walls / That hold me inside" or some other expression of angst. And that, of course, would be in Courier New. Bold.

I remember when Verdana and Tahoma came into my life, soon followed by Lucida Sans. For some reason I think of those fonts in that order exactly. Verdana and Tahoma are always paired up in my mind. Lucida Sans was a sweet revelation. I'm not even going to get into Comic Sans. If I was laughing super hard during an AIM conversation, which happened quite often, I wouldn't just say "LOL" and be done with it. Hell no. I would turn my font size up to 48; bust out the bold, underline, and italics; and change that font color to red, baby. Fonts mean something.

So next time you open up Microsoft Word (sidebar: remember Word Perfect?), take a moment to think. Don't let those default fonts wear you down. Change it up to a nice Helvetica or Calibri, or maybe a Gill Sans for good measure. Nothing says classy like Book Antiqua. And admittedly, as much as I love changing up my fonts on the regular, I'll still rock an Arial size 11 or a Times New Roman 10 when I'm feeling saucy.

What are your favorite (or least favorite) fonts?

I never got to go to an anime convention

Today a seventh grader told me I was strange. Seriously, twelve-year-old? You think I’m strange? Do you realize how strange I was when I was twelve? Man, if I’m strange now I must’ve been a severe weirdo back then.

Seventh grade was one of my favorite years, probably because I was blissfully unaware of how strange I was. The summer prior I discovered anime, but my obsession with the band Hanson was still going strong. During my first week of school in a new state, I met my two best friends, one of whom had a self-proclaimed “Q-Tip” hairstyle and an obsession with tornadoes (hi Kim!). During that year and through the beginning of high school, I spent a lot of my time writing stories and songs. Mostly stupid ones. What I didn’t realize then was that while I was pretending to morph into a Sailor Scout, or listening to “MMMBop,” or learning how to write HTML (Tables! Frames! Geocities!), my classmates were having PARTIES. WITH ALCOHOL AND BOYS. AND PROBABLY LIKE PLAYING SPIN THE BOTTLE AND STUFF.

Then they all got herpes.

I’m thankful for being a nerd, really, because being a young nerd meant maintaining my childlike wonder. I was not interested in growing up much in high school, nor did I know a lot about grown-up things. Instead of begging my parents to go to a party with my friends, I begged them to go to an anime convention. (They said no. They probably thought it was a cover for a rave.) And I kept that behavior up until I enrolled in college at a music conservatory and suddenly deteriorated into a swearing, inappropriate, obnoxious snob. You wouldn’t catch me listening to any music with a I-IV-V-I progression, no sir. I was pretentious.

Thankfully that phase is over. I’m going back to my roots, discovering all those nerdy things I missed out on when I was too busy listening to Scriabin. Join me in my quest for rediscovery. Now that I think about it, I bet this quest can probably be psychologically interpreted as an innate response to my fear of death or growing up or something. Hmm.

Band Camp

In a high school classroom discussion about ethics I once started a story with, “One time, at band camp,” totally oblivious to the cultural reference I made, wondering why the entire room was laughing at me. I remember thinking, maybe there is something crazy going on behind me through the window...? I even turned around to look. Nope. That was my nerd flag flying high.

I mean, I was really trying to tell a story about band camp. Band camp was fun. My friends and I ate a bunch of Easy Cheese and got sunburns, and at night discovered painted glow-in-the-dark death threats adorning our dorm room walls. (True.) That was back in the day when I had to call my parents on a pay phone. We used that collect call technique where you leave your name as “HEYITSMEGANCALLMEBACK” and they hang up the collect call, and dial the pay phone number direct. Cheating the system rules.

Anyway, back to being a nerd. You know how hipsters ruined big plastic glasses for everyone? Yeah, that sucks. I used to rock giant plastic glasses in the 90s, assholes. I earned that right when I was called “four-eyes” and when I totally got annihilated in the face by a racing dodgeball so hard my glasses flew off and slid across the gym floor. Now I can’t wear my big glasses without feeling like a poser. Screw you.

I do feel like a legitimate member of the nerd club though. I know a ton of Weird Al songs, there are definitely some disposable camera photos lurking somewhere of me posing like Sailor Moon, and I would rather make a website than a new friend. But I have to admit, I’m lacking in some nerd education. That’s what this new adventure is for.

So please, bear with us while we watch a bunch of shows you’ve already seen. Maybe it will be entertaining for you to listen while Jim and I pose incorrect theories, rage at frustrating plotlines, get facts wrong, and generally look like silly people. And feel free to send us hate mail.