Skepticism

A.I. ComicCon is coming! A is geeking out!

I live in San Diego.  This week, that means I live at ComicCon. Even if I didn’t go every year, and even if I didn’t have rock-solid, awesome, skeptical friends who ALSO dig ComicCon, I’d want  to go just to see the fine geekery on display. (Same reason I love BayCon, and Dragon*Con.)

TheRealBoy does not get ComicCon.  He’s much more subtle than I am, about just about everything. It kind of blows my mind. But I think you guys get me here, no?  I’ve asked about your geek flags before.  Now tell me how you feed the Superman beneath your Clark Kent exterior:

How do you indulge your geek self? Do you have any geek secrets from the “normal people” in your life?

Cons? Bagged and boarded comics, even now, as a grown up?  A whole room in your house for snakes? Cupcakes?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

a.real.girl

A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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60 Comments

  1. I go to Goodwill just to look for awesome hardcover books. And other used book stores. I don’t need to buy anymore books, but man is it ever fun.

    I don’t have any geek secrets. I am a nerd and proud of it. It helps to have friends who are nerdier/geekier than me in some respects, however. :)

    I don’t go to cons and such. I want to go to TAM next year, but that’s about it. I’m not into Anime or Comics so other cons don’t interest me.

  2. I have a couple of boxes of comics. I started reading them two years ago, and just like all the other books I read, I can’t bring myself to get rid of them, even if I never read them more than once.

    I also play a lot of video games. Not as much as I used to, but I do. I even had a WoW account for about six months before quitting cold turkey. (Note: precisely the same amount of time I tried smoking, although it wasn’t the same six months. COINCIDENCE??)

  3. Nerd/Geek culture has lots tonnes of the stigma it once had. I used to do my research on the internet in the late 90’s, and two things happened: teachers wouldn’t accept online research, and people made fun of me. The internet was something that nerds did.

    But now, it’s not that nerd-culture has become mainstream (it hasn’t—not by a long shot), it’s that many nerds of the 80’s and 90’s grew up and made Robot Chicken, Family Guy, ATHF, and a huge plethora of other nerd-friendly programing.

    The old-guard nerds were the 50’s-nerds: pocket-protecting math-geniuses in broken glasses. Nerds from the 80’s and 90’s were nerdy not because of intellectual ascendancy, but because of a predilection for staying indoors and working/playing on the computer.

    Then the computer got main stream. Nerd culture was well suited to ride this wave because they had been doing this for decades already. With the normalization of computer-culture, came a saturation of nerd-culture, bringing with it video games, Dungeons and Dragons, comics and Anime. It’s not mainstream, but it’s no longer something that crazy-losers did. If you want to dress up as a Gundam Warrior or Astroboy, there are entire CONFERENCES just for you!

    I took a Sci-Fi course in university and the professor had a colossal chip on his shoulder, no doubt from being mocked all his life (which he continually told us) for being a sci-fi nerd. He just didn’t’ get the message: We’re no longer in the closet! We don’t need to hide! Star Trek just became absolutely cool! STAR TREK!

    The loud, proud, and wienerey-as-all-hell nerd-chant can be heard from Teamspeak lines all over the world! “Out of the rooms, and into the other rooms! Out of the sun and into the basement!”

    We don’t need to hide anymore. I used to hide my D&D, video games and Star Trek proclivities…but no more. If you don’t like it, that’s fine…..but it sure must suck not being able to get so many jokes that are on all the best comedy shows!

  4. I have never been a closet geek. I am an out geek.

    To get my fine geek-self on I juggle (balls, clubs, occasionally fire). Read graphic novels (most recently the awesome Scott Pilgrim). Discuss physics minutiae with anyone who will hold still long enough. Ditto SF and Fantasy novels. Ditto beer, bread, and cheese making.

    I was born a geek. I live a geek. I shall die a geek. If you hear of my passing I’d take a quick Vulcan salute as a bit of kindness. Thanks.

  5. I’ve mentioned that I folkdance here before. The particular type I do most, morris dancing, has gatherings called ales at which we dance out in the streets, collect money, go into the pub to spend the money, run out of beer, go back out into the streets, and so on.

    Other geekery I indulge in: Star trek, of course (my wife, daughter, and I play a game in which we take turns thinking of a humorous bit from an episode and the others try to guess which bit it is; kind of like 20 questions) and recreational mathematics.

  6. I’m an “out” geek as well. I read Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels, I watch Star Trek (and own DS9 on DVD), I play video games and roleplaying games, I have 8 computers in my apartment for LAN parties, I chat math/science stuff with people, etc. It does truly help that I’m surrounded by geek friends who “get it” as well.

    The biggest “geek” thing I do that people know about is my HTPC project, which includes ripping DVDs to .iso files, storing them on a 2TB file server, and then creating my own HTML application to browse through and select them, causing them to auto-mount on a virtual DVD drive. Wow … typed out, that sounds amazingly geeky, even to me.

    I suppose the biggest “geek” thing that I do that no one really knows about is my website, but even that’s not very much (though it is improving).

  7. I organize Doctor Who marathons for my friends and family. I also read all the time – I just finished Why Evolution Is True and I’m moving on to Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism. I have a Terry Prachett book tucked away just in case I have some unplanned reading time. I’m the computer person in my family as well, so if the internet goes down, it’s my fault. My cousin’s boyfriend just put Ubuntu on her computer and I am itching to get my hands on it to play around. Most people just smile and nod when confronted with my geekery. I get a lot of, “you’re such a geek … could you come help me fix my computer… please?”

  8. My friends just found out I watch Star Trek when they asked me if there were any names I was considering for the baby. I said I like Wesley for a boy like Wesley Crusher from Star Trek NG. I still haven’t heard the end of it.

  9. I work in a gaming store and have worked in a comic store. I draw and collect comics, and have a collection. I used to LARP. I still play games, mostly board games. There’s no hiding my geekiness when I’m behind the counter.

  10. I used to spend almost every penny I made at my high school job on comic books. I loved them. I would read them, bag and board and box them. I was constantly draging them out to re-read and re-organize them. Kept it up until I was a father. Then no money. When the kids got interested in comics I gave them all the long boxes. I told them to enjoy them and not worry about keeping them pristine. Though I do still worry about my first run copy of the Killing Joke and my first run House of Mystery with the debut Samp Thing story. I watched lots of Star Trek and Star Wars. I like cheesy sci fi and horror from the silent movies up to the 1950s. Read pulp ficition whenever I can get my hands on it. But I don’t let any of it run my life anymore. I enjoy it but I don’t horde it anymore.

  11. I listen to skeptical podcasts and read sckeptical blogs.

    Seriously.

    In addition to that I still love video games and computer games. I miss Everquest. And read SciFi and Fantasy. And I have an old comic collection too.

    And I’ll be and Comicon on Thursday! First time for me!

  12. I have no geeky secrets. Not that I don’t geek out, I just don’t make it a secret about it. I can liken stuff to ST/SW. I quote movies at relevant times. I like wizards and dragons. I listen to podcasts on my break/lunch/travel. I think life would be so much better if there would be random musical numbers-complete with dancing. (Is that evidence of geekiness, or gayness?) I even have ideas as to how I could make a “Random Act of Musical”.

  13. I will be at Comic Con on Wed nite and probably on Saturday. I make no bones about me being a geek, but anymore, I’m rather picky. Mostly anime for me (Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, Macross, Appleseed) and I don’t hide it – hell, I’m wearing a Cowboy Bebop tshirt at work right now.

  14. The one geeky thing about me that i tend to keep secret from most people is my love of Japanese tokusatsu shows. These are shows like Power Rangers (there called Super Sentai) and Kamen Rider. Although I’m not sure if that’s geeky or just immature. I guess sometimes it’s hard to tell.

    Anyway, all the other geeky things about me are known to all.

  15. Hello A. I been missin you!

    I don’t actually think I have a huge amount of geekiness. I enjoy BSG, Dr. Who, Star Trek, X-Files, and such on a feet-wet level, but not a full-on geek basis. (Although I may get geek points for being an order nazi and watching the original Dr. Who and BSG episodes first.)

    But what’s interesting is what marks me as a geek in my particular environment. I DJ at a campus radio station. And it is very poo-poo indeed that I greatly enjoy the music of Korn and Pearl Jam. That’s worse than liking JTim or Rihanna because there’s no possibility of irony. But damn, Korn’s music is so visceral. Some the lyrics are not great, but, damn, that dissonant, abject guitar and stomping rhythm gets me! And I love Soulfly too. The Christian lyrics and brutal roaring, growling metal just slay me.

    And, no matter what environment I’m in, I get sneers for liking Limp Bizkit. But girls, Fred Durst is SO a geek. Just listen to the lyrics of some non-singles. That guy is laaaaame. I love it.

    Wooooo! Time and Relative Dimension is Space! Rock on! Seriously, though, wasn’t mashing up the Dr. Who theme with “Rock and Roll” one of the best ideas ever? I think so.

    Oh, another guilty geek secret is fantasy/sci-fi novels. Like, Piers Anthony and David Eddings.

    And I’m a monster geek. I love monster movies. Take this: I loved “Alien Vs. Predator”. Plus, my favorite Alien movie is NOT “Aliens”. It’s “Alien Resurrection”. Now THAT is geek. I challenge you to find anyone who likes any Alien movie more than “Aliens”. And who isn’t a member here. HAJS!

  16. I am a squeeing Pratchett fangirl, I never miss an episode of Mythbusters, and although I’m not sure if this counts, I watch a crapton of Food Network, hang out in LiveJournal communities dedicated to recipes, and read cookbooks.

  17. When I’m not looking at Skeptical blogs, I’m hanging out on magic forums. I’ve just signed up to do a beginners magic course but my real aim is to learn how to hammer a nail up my nose so I can be an actual circus style geek in the original meaning of the word as well as the modern day meaning.

    I also spend probably too much time trying to find cheap Japanese punk and metal CDs.

  18. @DaveW: Of course. Please do the same for me before they launch my photon torpedo coffin into the nearest star.

    @indigo: I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, too. How can you NOT like a world with “Cohen the Barbarian” in it?

    I remember interaction fiction. I played the Hitchhiker’s Guide way back when…”You have no tea…”

  19. I collect Legos*, then I sort them by size and color, make an inventory of them in Excel, do some basic calculations, then build huge geometric shapes using every piece I own. The sorting and taking inventory is half the fun. I especially like to collect unusual colors, like gold, indigo, and dark pink. I have five different shades of green, and I also like clear versions of any color.

    My favorite shape to build is a pyramid, because no matter how many pieces I get, I can just add more layers to the bottom. It can grow indefinitely with the same basic, simple design. Also, the pyramid originally started as a way to store all my Legos in on piece when I’m not using them, so that’s also a nice feature. I always make one before I have to move.

    Sometimes I make a double-pyramid with the points meeting in the middle (although I don’t go all the way down to 1 piece, for stability), and it’s big enough that I can use it as a night stand or small coffee table. This shape has the benefit of being able to put a nice design on the top.

    I used to hide this hobby from everyone, but I’m less and less embarrassed by it as other people tell me how awesome it is. I guess it’s more like art than playing when an adult does it.

    *If you don’t like my anglicized pluralization, you can kiss my buns.

  20. Oh yeah, I also play RuneScape (and even pay for a membership), which is embarrassing even among other geeks. It’s sort of in a valley where it’s too geeky for “normal” people to accept it, yet not geeky enough for other geeks to think it’s cool. I guess it’s pseudo-geeky.

  21. @catgirl:
    *If you don’t like my anglicized pluralization, you can kiss my buns.

    The only reason that I don’t like it when people say that is because I have a lot of respect for The LEGO Group and what they’ve done for the toy market in the past 50+ years. “LEGO” is their trademark, and I respect that.

    See http://www.lego.com/eng/info/default.asp?page=fairplay specifically
    If the LEGO trademark is used at all, it should always be used as an adjective, not as a noun. For example, say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGO BRICKS”. Never say “MODELS BUILT OF LEGOs”.

  22. My affinity for comics is no secret. I’ve got comics coming in the mail via subscriptions, superhero crap all over the place and a tattoo half-sleeve of Batman villains. Despite being 40 I don’t think that makes me a geek. Now sci fi on the other hand…

  23. Ok, here are some geeky things about me that I probably shouldn’t admit to.

    1. I like the song “Chocolate Rain” and not in an ironic way.

    2. I like watching magic shows.

    3. I love Penn and Teller ( but I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of given the audience here )

    4. I used to have a crush on Doug Henning, which is regrettable.

    5. I also used to have a crush on John Denver, which is very regrettable.

    6. I’m painfully shy and ackward in social situations. (Example, despite my love of Penn and Teller, I couldn’t speak to them at TAM7…even though I bumped into them many times). I don’t know if being shy really counts as geekery, but there does seem to be a correlation between geekness and social akwardness.

  24. I have an apartment full of SGI workstations networked into a renderfarm.

    I do paleo restorations, and am sufficiently obssessed with dinosaurs, reptiles, and extinct mammals that I’m going to SVP’s 69th annual meeting in Bristol this year, in spite of only holding an Associate membership with SVP.

    In spite of that, there’s nothing about my geeky side that isn’t already out there. No geekrets to speak of.

  25. @davew:
    “What is interactive fiction?”

    “Marriage.”

    @infinitemonkey:
    “I thought that was ‘interactive friction'”.

    Absolutely hilarious!

    I’ve read Harry Potter so much that I can yell out incantations and actually know what they’re supposed to do. I also want to be a witch and attend Hogwarts so badly that I can hardly sit still. I spend a very large portion of my day reading skeptical blogs. And I’m pretty sure if I say, “Well, actually…” one more time to my friends, they’re going to kill me. Also, it takes about four seconds for me to bring up existentialism in any conversation.

  26. @Steve:

    What?!?! Webcomics aren’t geeky; they’re cool!

    Hrm… maybe… but only to other geeks. Now, webcomic artists that get paidthey’re universally cool. *laughs*

    @catgirl:

    Sometimes I make a double-pyramid with the points meeting in the middle (although I don’t go all the way down to 1 piece, for stability), and it’s big enough that I can use it as a night stand or small coffee table.

    Holy crappit, that’s brilliant. I’m going to spend the next several months collecting LEGO bricks to build furniture with. My son will love you for this… though the rest of my family will likely spend their days cursing your existence while weaving through a clutter of LEGO bins and boxes.

  27. None of the following is really *secret*…

    but then I don’t necessarily go around announcing that I play Magic. I think it’s a pretty brilliant game. And I mercilessly suck other people (geeks) that I like into it. (which is pretty much what I try to do when I like anything)

    I love other games as well…typically card games…Munchkin, Bang, Apples to Apples, Chez Geek, etc.

    I love scifi and fantasy tv shows and movies, and books about science and the fantastical.

    I really like certain anime and comic book themed tv shows and movies…but I’m damned picky about it.

    I love cooking to the point that it might be geekery. It’s what I do to procrastinate.

    And I sit on skepchick.org/blog when it’s 3am and I can’t sleep. That and read the Skeptical Inquirer, which is what I’m off to do…

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