It's Charmander, in case you were wondering.

Over the years, my father has used his parental influence to instill in me a love for several things — the Chicago Cubs, PCs, malted milkshakes, and Dilbert, just to name a few. His biggest project, however, was to convert at least one of his two children into a bona fide nerd.

Now, I have fought this fate for as long as I can remember. I would like to think that the vast amounts of time I spend hanging out with real live people cancels out some of the hours I spend on the computer. However, most of this "hanging out" involves watching cartoons and whatnot on Boy's computer. I also try to find non-nerdy interests to balance out the nerdy ones, but I end up knitting instead of blogging, playing The Sims instead of typing up HTML.

In short, I'm doomed.

My fate was truly sealed on Thursday night, when I was studying for an upcoming computer science test. As I flipped through page after page of useless information about C++, I came across the abbreviation "char," in reference to a character. I paused in my reading, wondering why that looked so odd to me. At this point, all things in the universe began operating in slow motion, cringing with me as my mouth opened.

"Ha! 'Char.' That reminds me of a Pokemon character. What was his name again?"

C++ and Pokemon? Dad, I hope you're proud. Mission accomplished.