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This year Geek and I may be celebrating one year of marriage, but Spiderman has been around for 50! That’s quite a run for Peter Parker as superhero and pop culture icon. Check out the above interview with Spiderman’s creator, Stan Lee. Also see this link for a look back at Spiderman and his wardrobe through the past 50 years. In this interview Dan Slott, current writer for Amazing Spiderman, plugs the big changes that will occur in the series at the end of this year.
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In celebrating Geek and my one year anniversary, I discovered a few other geek anniversaries that definitely deserve mention. Far more impressive than our one year is The Incredible Hulk’s 50 years, which were celebrated May 1 this year.
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One year of marriage today! It’s hard to believe that one year ago Geek and I stood in a beautiful church surrounded by family and friends, and promised to live out our love for one another for all the years to come. From the music our friends and family sang, played and composed; to the meaningful service led by our loving pastors; to the supportive presence of our families; to the cupcakes baked and decorated by our loved ones; to all of the work our amazing team of friends put into decorating and setting up—we were certainly surrounded by Blessings and Love that day. It was such a wonderful way to share with others the love we already knew, and to kick-off a life together. The wedding festivities that day ended by cutting into a cake topped by—who else?—Donatello and April O’Neil. (+geek cred)
All of the funny moments I’ve shared here, all of the joys, all of the fights, the changes, decisions, challenges and small sweet moments have wrapped up into one amazing first year of marriage!
The summer Olympics are in full swing, and with the games come the joys of endless sports coverage and an odd, familiar feeling of patriotism that stirs in the chest of even the most unpatriotic American. My Geek is no sports fanatic, so imagine my surprise when I came home to find him obsessively watching Olympics coverage for the second night in a row. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Really? You’re watching the Olympics again?
Me: But you don’t care about swimming. Do you even know anything about it?
Geek: You don’t know me at all, do you? I’m going to be watching the Olympics every day that they’re going on.
And back he went to watching everything from the big events in swimming and women’s gymnastics, to basketball, equestrian events, and white water kayaking. This got me to thinking, geeks are no exception to those who are tuning in to watch the games. Of course, some geeks definitely qualify as sports nerds: You know, those guys and gals who know every stat for every player in the MLB, who organize the fantasy football league, or who shamelessly break all other commitments to watch March Madness regardless of who’s playing. But most geeks don’t fall into this category. I must give Geek a little credit, but I did just teach him what” fourth down” means this fall.
So why are the Olympics a perfect gateway into the sports world for the average geek? I’ll give you three reasons…
1) You don’t have to follow sports normally to know what’s going on in the Olympic Games. The ample media coverage of the Olympics allows for plenty of time to delve into the stats and history of each athlete in each sport. Even if you’ve never watched a basketball game or cared about men’s volleyball before, you can get up to speed in time to enjoy all the athleticism, drama, and nuance of every Olympic sport.
2) This year especially, social media and the internet are the way to follow the games, and this definitely gives the geek home field advantage. While everyone discusses how Twitter and the internet are the “new” way to get Olympic coverage, the geek has already been getting their top news this way for a decade or more.
3) You can become an expert in no time at all. Geeks love to be the experts on what they do, especially when it’s complicated. That’s why we come to them for IT support. And that’s why they play the board games and video games that they do. With a little of the research mentioned above and some focus on a more obscure event, suddenly a geek is one of the foremost experts on skeet shooting, trampolining, or badminton.
So grab your geek, a laptop, and an iphone and tune in for the most exciting summer games yet! You may be surprised at how much you learn from their new-found expertise.
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This summer has seen the familiar barrage of super hero blockbusters, often highly anticipated and—unfortunately—often highly disappointing for the geek crowd. So everyone needs some way of vetting these films before shelling out big bucks for a seat in the theater.
A few weeks ago, the latest Spiderman movie premiered and I heard a review of the film on NPR. The reviewer generally had good things to say about it—especially about the acting talents of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone—but his harshest critique really stood out. He claimed that the film had a tendency toward “excessive reverence.” Really, who would have guessed? A movie about Spiderman having excessive reverence for the Peter Parker story line? Either this man was really just grasping for something negative to say about the movie, or he has never met a geek.
Excessive reverence is something geeks seem to bask in. Have you ever talked to a Firefly fan about the cancellation of that series (which was cancelled a decade ago in 2002, by the way)? Take a look at photos from Comi-Con. How could a person not have excessive reverence and still manage to spend hours doing their own costume and make up to look like a Twi’lek or a zombie or Batman? Or learn Kligon? Or spend hundreds of dollars on a comicbook and action figure collection? Yep, excessive reverence is essential for the geek.
My Geek has this excessive reverence gene too. The night I told him that Star Trek Voyager was just a little too kitschy for me may have ended with hurt feelings, a lecture about the importance of Star Trek to his family, and a small argument. (By the way in-laws, I do apologize deeply for not enjoying your former Sunday night ritual of watching Voyager as much as you all did.)
But his excessive reverence is important. Without it, geeks would be…well…just geeky. But when you can honor this excessive reverencegeeks become romantic, loyal, and nostalgic, devoted to the values of justice, heroism, and reruns.
This week The Dark Knight Rises premiers and I admit I’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival. But rather than turn to reviewers who do not understand the importance of reverence, I will turn to my own small panel of Comicbook Experts. I always consult them on the latest superhero films and they have yet to fail me. Look forward to a review of The Dark Knight Rises next week from my own brother. I hope the latest in the Batman franchise has just the right amount of excessive reverence.
What do you have excessive reverence for?
As a kid, what geek did not love Legos?
And as an adult, what geek does not love IKEA?
This week Geek and I took on the familiar task of finding a new piece of furniture. Collectively we’ve moved 7 times in the last 3 years, so used furniture hunting is a familiar old friend. We did the usual rounds of thrift shops and used furniture storefronts for a few weeks, and then—regardless of what we had or hadn’t found—we ended up where we always do: IKEA. After a bit of wandering, a few price checks, and a trip to the warehouse, we were loading our new chair—in conveniently flat packaging—into the back of our car. And then home to assemble!
If IKEA furniture is grown-up Legos, then Geek is a Legomaniac.
While I’m still standing there, staring at the pieces and wondering how any of this could possibly make a chair, Geek is pouring over the instruction manual, smiling to himself, a look of excitement and anticipation in his eyes. I hate instruction manuals. They always make me feel like a idiot because I can never figure out what they’re trying to tell me. I think my parents thought I would grow out of that, yet to this day I never read the instructions. Geek loves to read instruction manuals. He has an entire bulging file folder full of the things, and he actually goes back to consult them on the proper upkeep and maintenance of our appliances. Who does that? He is one of those people that totally ruins companies’ bet that no one will actually call them on their lifetime warranty because—unlike me—he always keeps track of his warranties. And I believe all of this goes back to being a Legomaniac. A true Legomaniac knows that the instruction manual is the best and most efficient way to assemble their pirate ship/X-wing Fighter/Hogwarts castle/IKEA chair. This was far from the first piece of IKEA furniture Geek has assembled for our home. As usual, he had that chair assembled in record time. I think I may have opened some packaging and put a cover on one of the cushions.
“You’re such a dork!”
We’ve all said it. Perhaps your bestie decided to try the old straws-up-the-nose for her classic walrus impression. Or maybe your brother is ranting on again about his field of study, completely unaware that no one in the room actually has any idea what he’s talking about. Or this time it was your mom’s familiar corny jokes (sorry Mom, it’s true!).
Perhaps sadly, none of these are true dorks. Trust me I know, I’m married to a geek. And difference in definitions means everything. Today while the geeks are online getting every shred of info they can about Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference and lamenting that this will be the first without Steve Jobs, the hardcore dorks are holed up in a dark room with a favorite book or game, only vaguely aware that anything so epic is happening. So here we have…
Dorks are more likely to lack social grace than nerds, and therefore are often loners. Dorks have no hope of blending in. Unlike nerds they likely have neither the smarts nor the drive to devote themselves to studies. A dork is more likely driven to activities such as MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, for those of you that aren’t yet fluent in geek) or if they grew up in the 80s DnD (Dungeons and Dragons), though these activities may also occupy the nerds and geeks from time to time. Dorks are the most likely of the groups to be interested in the genre of fantasy (think of that one guy in your high school math class that knew how to speak elvish). Dorks may know how to fix your computer for you, but they likely won’t help. This category is definitely dominated by the guys.
Do you know a dork? Think this definition seems to fit? I look forward to hearing your take below. Next week we’ll finally get to my personal favorite, the geeks.
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My mom once accused me of marrying my Geek because I just wanted free tech support for life.
While tech support isn’t really at the core of why Geek and I got married, it is one of the many happy benefits of being married to a geek. My roommates’ reformatted hard drives, my brother’s Mac-not-PC graduation gift, and my parents’ newly installed wireless router can all attest that this benefit has extended far beyond me. But with the many benefits of geekly wedded bliss come challenges. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve loved these first few months of marriage—but any relationship with a geek should come with an instruction manual (a manual not to be found in my Geek’s bulging file folder of manuals for every gadget he’s ever purchased, but that’s another story…)
My Geek helped me out early on in our relationship by clearing up some definitions. For the average American, the terms nerd, dork, and geek may all seem interchangeable. In the geek-verse however, to mix up these terms can be a deadly error. Apparently the definitions my Geek shared with me were vetted by him and several other genuine geeks, so they can be trusted. This week I share with you…
A nerd is someone who loves learning, and likely loves school. They’re very smart, they study hard, they get good grades, and they obey the rules. A nerd can manifest in a variety of forms. They may be able to hide in the crowd for a time because of some athletic talent or attractive features. They may be president of every possible high school club, or they may be the obvious one who sucks up to the teacher. Whatever role they take on, their brains will likely be the determining factor in their life. This category is pretty evenly split between guys and girls, but girls may have a slight majority. Though possibly an outcast, a nerd likely has friends—a group of similarly nerdy folk. My Geek says this probably best describes me.
With a better understanding of the nerds in your life, hopefully you will come to better know your geeks as I’m learning to know mine. It’s no instruction manual, but it gives you somewhere to start. Tune in next week for my take on dorks. Please leave your own thought or comment on the nerds below…