Monday, March 5, 2012

Nerd Adjacent...

Last night at the hockey game C called me a dork. Now, granted, at the time I was dancing in my seat to the bumper music they play to amp up the crowd, but still. A dork. Me? Nah...well...maybe.

I've written before about some of my geek-like tendencies. I read comic books. I play a Facebook game with enough dedication that I have flown across country and even gone to a foreign country to meet people I play with. Canada totally counts as a foreign country so stop snickering. I have a favorite captain.  I have friends that are geeky enough to know what I mean by saying I have a favorite captain without any need for further clarification. I have the White and Nerdy sweatshirt from the Weird Al video. I will sigh audibly when Captain Tightpants comes on screen. I use the term Whedonverse un-ironically. I know that Darth Vader never says, "Luke, I am your father." Things like that...

But what else I truly know is that my geek-like tendencies really make me geek-light. For instance I still call them comic books, not graphic novels. I play a game on Facebook, not a fully immersible create your own world say goodbye to your family for a week game online.  I have a favorite captain, might even have a favorite episode but I can't quote season and episode numbers. I have a White and Nerdy sweatshirt but not the ring tone. I love Captain Tightpants but do not own a brown coat. I know what the Whedonverse is and have spent a lot of time there, but folks, let's face it, Dollhouse was weak. I might know that Darth Vader never says "Luke, I am your father," but I also know that the line, "Play it again, Sam," is never spoken in Casablanca. There are levels of nerddom, of geek heights, that I will never reach.  I am nerd adjacent.

I was reminded of this last month when an online geek book club I am in (yes, geek-like tendencies) read Ready Player One. If you are a child of the 80s I recommend it for sure. If you were a geek in the 80s it's sort of a must read. And if you were like me, nerd-adjacent, you will enjoy it as well. A lot of the nerd touchstones the author talks about though were where I have to own up to not being the nerd/geek/dork people sometimes give me credit for being. Yes, I am fully aware of Dungeons and Dragons, but I have never played a game. The only 20 sided dice I have ever thrown was done just to watch the way they moved when they landed. However, I have had D&D characters named after me.  And I am enough of a nerd to know to ask the people that play the game if the character that was named after me was a compliment or an insult. My favorite was being an elf-warrior. She was bad-ass.

I blame my middle brother for my nerd adjacency.  He was a true nerd. He collected comic books.  He wrote computer code for fun. He works on satellites now. He also drug me to Star Wars when it first came out. I did not want to go. I watched Star Trek because I had to, being the youngest you rarely got to choose what was on TV, but I had no love for the series until Next Generation. I had no urge to go see a stupid science fiction movie. But he was paying and wanted company so I went. And I loved it. I also read all of his comic books. I am a reader, always have been. I am the person that reads the cereal box at breakfast and the signs on the Max car because they are there. So when he brought his comics in to the house, I read them. Some of them I loved. Some of them not so much. But I know my old (70s and early 80s) Marvel and DC stuff. I also have mentioned before that as much of my moral code as the church instilled, Elfquest did that and more.

So I will still go to a comic book movie today. I am super excited for The Avengers this summer. And I am enough of a nerd that it made me mad, like actually seriously angry, when Spiderman 3 changed Peter Parker's back story to suit their narrative. Though I haven't had as much of an issue with the reboot of the Batman universe or even the Star Trek re-imagining from the last movie. Could be a bad movie makes it unacceptable to mess with canon and a good movie allows leeway...I also use words like canon...nerd alert there as well.  Though I won't get all up in your face about it...nerd adjacent.

You know there was a stretch in high school where I ate lunch with the chess club. Smart guys are more fun to talk to. But I didn't bother learning more than the fundamentals of the game. That wasn't the important part for me. The conversation and the safe place to hang out were. And though I can recognize when someone says something like Rook to Queen Bishop 4 they are using one of the forms of chess notation, I couldn't actually move the piece to the correct location.  Nerd adjacent.

I was in drama in high school. I think about acting still to this day. Community theater might be fun. I like to go to the movies. I enjoy talking about a film I have just seen with friends.  But ask me who won Best Picture at the Oscars and I might MIGHT be able to tell you who won this year and maybe last year...but other than that?  Not a film geek either.  But I have friends who will debate performances and line deliveries, and genres, and directors and on and on. Film geeks.

So back to the game last night...though I was dancing to the music during the game and I might rightfully be called a dork for it....the person sitting next to me on one side was carrying a hand held video game, one of two they brought home on Spring Break and I know for a fact that they could quote you the lineage of the Nintendo systems and any number of games that were created before they were even born.  The person sitting next to me on the other side makes me consider things like the future value of money when I am deciding if the bigger size of Tide is a bargain or not and reads economic books for fun and will correct me on my superhero knowledge when I get it wrong, which I do...yeah...I would say I am still nerd-adjacent.  I would also say that smart guys are still more fun to talk to.

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