Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nerd Herds

I am an unrepentant nerd. I'm not a geek. To be a geek would be to have a mastery of technical devices. I could probably take my computer apart. I could probably put it back together. I could then wrap it up in a nice package and give it to you as a rather expensive paperweight.

What I'm sayin' is that I'm not so good at the geeky stuff.

Doesn't mean I'm not interested in it. I like to geek by association.

But I am definitely a nerd.

Nerds herd. That is, one nerd is uncomfortable. One nerd will desire and look for another nerd. And then another nerd. And then ANOTHER nerd, until you have a nerd herd. Official nerd herds are often called "conventions" and are usually proceeded by a special understood-by-nerds-only title. Often including part of the name of the city in which the convention is held.

For the record, I have never been to a convention. Mostly because I'm a little unnerved by the obsessed fans. I like my nerd herd to be well-rounded and grounded in reality.

RenFaire is a nerd herd gathering. I'm sorry for those of you who go and think you are somehow above nerdom. But I've never been to one of these either (not for want of trying, I DO have a RenFaire costume I made myself and have worn for MANY halloweens, it's just when there was a RenFaire I was either out of the town or had a paper due the next day [procrastination sometimes shoots you in the butt] or was WAY too poor to pay the fee to get in). I've always been rather bitter about this. Even my PARENTS managed to go to a RenFaire at least once. (Total nerd moment: the RenFaire episode of Reading Rainbow was one of my favorites.)

A group of classicists are by definition a nerd herd even if some of them have never seen Star Wars. The chances of meeting a classicist that hasn't seen Star Wars are fairly small, but they are out there and are usually nerdy in some other delightful way.

So here I am in Denmark - there's a Viking Moot! An open air museum! My husband is very understanding of my history obsession (he shares it, the big lug). Usually though you go to these as a visitor and not a participant, although I hear you can do some archery at the moot. I'll need to limber up (yes, I took archery in college, recurve not compound). There *are* Viking reenactment groups, who knows, maybe some day I'll find myself with all kinds of time on my hands and go swing a sword at someone's head.

But my Dane doesn't really get my fantasy or sci-fi nerd sides. He's tolerant. But confused. He's taken me to see all of the Harry Potter movies. He's sat through Star Wars. Will he be able to handle, then, the new Star Trek movie?

Relief may be in sight. I've gone and met me a Danish nerd. We're beginning our own little nerd herd. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing "You ALSO watched Farscape?!" and "OMG, what do you think Brienne cried out at the end of 'A Feast of Crows'?" And then to send each other links to weird science articles, what bliss!

This may be my husband's out. If he finds he can't bring himself to once again go forth and sit for 2+ hours eating popcorn and listen to me squeal with joy, he won't have to. Then again, he finds my enthusiasm entertaining. He might just be willing to do it for that. And the candy.

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