A Big Suck

It’s 5:15am on a Tuesday. I haven’t been able to sleep because I’ve got a hacking cold. It’s currently at the point when every time I cough, a distasteful, slime-like substance suddenly appears in my mouth. It is not swallowable. Unlike my pride.

This sickness prevented me from being present at the taping of the last two Sexy Nerd Girl vlogs before we go on hiatus. I actually did show up to the shoot, but my team sent me home for fear of contracting my bug. Part of me was somewhat relieved. I’m a big suck – I probably would have cried during the shoot.

Val celebrates her 4th year of existence in 2014.

Val enters her 4th year of existence next week. If you’re me.

It was three years ago this week that Sexy Nerd Girl was born. For me at least.

At that time, this need arose in me to make a show with a female lead character who lives a completely ordinary life, not unlike any of our lives, but she lives it extraordinarily. She’s a Homeric hero with the life of an everywoman. If you wanted to avoid an interstellar war when the aliens make first contact, she’s the person you’d most want present. She would buy them a round of drinks.

I let my ideas bounce around in my skull for a few weeks. I wanted her to be able to have asides to camera because that’s something I do. If I’m stressed about something, I’ll sometimes pretend there’s a camera to my left and I’ll turn to it and say, “Can you believe I gotta put up with this?” I wanted her to be really into video games because that’s something I’m really into. I’ll be honest with you; I wanted to create my soulmate.

After all, I thought, it’s easier to create a soulmate from scratch than it is to go find one.

On November 2, 2010, I registered the domain name which you see at the top of this page. The next day, I went looking for Stephanie Kaliner, my soul sister.

And for the next three weeks, we started constructing the sandbox in which we’d be playing. In the first week of December, Mike Fly and Hannah Spear joined us, my soul brother and other soul sister, respectively. And two weeks later, we welcomed to the fold Adam Christie, my funk soul brother.

It was Mike’s brilliant idea to use vlogs to introduce our character and her world. Steph and I had planned Sexy Nerd Girl to be something more in the structure of Versus Valerie. Whereas a vlog structure allowed us to be up and running in weeks rather than years. And it also allowed us to let audience interactions shape who she would be. And though we didn’t know it at the time, it would essentially allow Hannah and Adam to rehearse their roles for 2 years.

The first vlog premiered on December 24, 2010 (though many intrepid viewers have discovered the first video uploaded to our channel, on December 12th – a demo video I made to establish a tone for the brand).

Still from a never-before-seen vlog about Doctor Who S6. We let it go!

Still from a never-before-seen vlog about Doctor Who S6. We let it go!

What’s the point of all this? What am I doing with these words? I’ve been making these vlogs every week for the past 146 weeks. So I guess these words are me letting go of that habit.

And in a way, Sexy Nerd Girl is about letting go – letting go of pre-conceived notions of sexuality and society and gender. Letting go of one definition in order to take a step back and see that there is always way more than one definition.

It’s about letting go of the need to always be right. I’ve found that the amount you need to always be right is directly proportional to the amount of people who dislike you. Not that there’s anything wrong with people disliking you, but if there’s enough of them, it’s much more difficult to do anything great in the world.

It’s about parents letting go of children. Whether it’s Mother leaving Val to her own devices at the end of Episode 11 of VsV, or any of us on the SNG team letting go of our favourite jokes because they just didn’t fit within the arc of the show, or me letting go of my secret soulmate on November 3rd, 2010, so that there’d be room enough for others to add their secret soulmates to the mix.

It’s about letting go of friends and lovers. Guy letting go of Val, Val letting go of The Doctor, Val letting go of making her vlogs, and viewers letting go of the vlogs while we take a much needed rest for a few months.


I let go of my cameo from the end of Episode 7 of VsV.

It’s about letting go of all the things in life that twist us our perceptions – our fears, our desires – to see where we’re actually standing. Romantics call it “stopping to smell the roses.” I guess romantics assume there are always roses somewhere nearby. Personally, I prefer apples.

I’m going to go edit vlogs 199 and 200 now. And yes, I’ll probably cry. Like a big suck.

2 thoughts on “A Big Suck

  1. You deserve the break! As much as I want to say “give me more! There should be 7 videos a week!” I am excited to see it when it starts back up again.
    And you’re allowed to cry. Whoever said you weren’t is the big suck. ;-)

    • Oh I have no shame about crying. I’ve seen enough interviews of WW2 veterans breaking down under the weight of their memories to have earned the right. Crying grandfathers are the worst. I turn into Niagara Falls.

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