I've done a lot of nerding while in Australia. Through means I can't exactly track we started having weekly nerd nights where the same group of people; Kevin, myself, Pat, Kaz and Jay (give or take, all locals) get together at each other's houses, drink wine, eat cheese and play Magic. After thoroughly wiping the floor with everyone else with my Black/White deck, I began to play with other decks to try and get an understanding of the kinds of other things/themes that I like. I can't wait to start figuring out how to build my own decks and to continue getting a better understanding of the kind of player I am.
Pat looking sexy.
Me looking manic.
Ollie (who was a one off) and Kevin.
I also joined in on a few weeks of Vampires: The Masquerade with a large group of people, mostly from MUST, so many of whom I would have loved to have gotten to know better in my short time with them. So many of them were so nice. One of particular note is a guy named Zorro (for real) who gave me a going away possum as that was my characters fight form. We had only known each other for a short period of time but he warmed my heart with that simple but awesome gesture.
Both of these events, which I was able to become part of because of The Amazing Kevin Turner, have helped me understand just how much I want (and value having) this kind of thing and these kinds of people in my life. I have never rejected being a nerd -
I should clarify here, in case you hadn't already figured it out, I define a 'nerd' who is someone who is (unironically) enthusiastic and almost acedemic about fictional things. Games, books, movies. Entertainment things, you see. I would place myself, and most of my friends, into this category. A 'geek' is someone who is extremely well read and perhaps animated about factual things. Maths, science and other such stuff that will get you a real job and thick rimmed glasses taped together in the middle. I would place Josh, who can answer any and every science question I can come up with ("What causes turbulence?" "Why do I yawn all the time on planes?" "Does it count if you're just by yourself in the airplane bathroom?"), in this catagory. He on the other hand would swap those around, and thinks he himself a nerd and that I am a geek. The definitions are the same the words are just constantly up for debate as to which one represents which. My argument for the way I defined things was - Geek Squad. Its not called the Nerd Bunch, because if it was instead of showing up to your house to fix you computer, they would show up with a cold pizza and a stack of books and play DnD in your basement, and that really wouldn't be what you were hoping for (or maybe?).
I should correct something, however, in my experience nerds really eat well! I had fancy wine a cheese weekly with Nerd Night, all the food was communal at every Vampires Elysuim and the few times (the number of which I really hope increases once I get back) I've been to Hassendaig the pot luck they assemble has always been a meadly of awesome foods.
Now, where was I...
- I have never rejected being a nerd, and perhaps I played it up a little because I just wanted to be one so badly. Nerds are the cool kids now to me. I want them to pick me to be on their team, forget baseball. Being accepted as a true nerd is a whole hell of a lot harder than being accepted as one of the 'in crowd'. To get 'in' all you have to do is dress a certain way (for an example of how you need to dress just look at every single "in" person and note they all look alike) say certain things (or better, don't say anything other than the designated, acceptable, limited vocabulary) and don't stir the pot at all, just drink and drink and sleep with whomever will have you and you'll be popular! Or American... my viewpoints on this may be skewed.
To be a nerd however you have to know your stuff! Like seriously! You also can't just know one thing inside and out you need to know several! You're not a nerd enough if you can recite all of Doctor Who backwards you also have to:
• know what '4d6' means (and that is REALLY basic),
• replace at least one real swearword with "fracking" or "shiney" or "gorammit" and use it regularly.
• Own at least one t-shirt with something so esoteric about the first episode of Firefly that even those who did watch the series have some difficulty identifying where it's from.
• have at least 3 web comics bookmarked and viewed regularly
• have serveral characters waiting in your head to be rolled for the next tabletop campaign that comes up (or maybe they are already rolled)
And this is just what you will need if you want to walk in the room and not have the rest of the people smell fear in your empty understanding of who Gwen Stacy was.
Here is the thing though, I have never met a mean group of nerds. We are so used to being the ones excluded its rare you will ever find those who want to exclude someone just because they are different. In fact they get very enthused to introduce someone new who they can share their passion with. Admittedly you will often find groups who have been table topping for years together or are in the middle of a campaign and can't let you in right then but you'll be sure they will help get you excited about building a character when the time comes around.
In short, nerds are awesome, I love being one (though I know I am but a babe), Australia is awesome and I love being a nerd here, particularly with the amazing people I get to do that with.
Also, before I left Kevin and Pat got me a family portrait of our characters. It makes me super happy.
There's no place like...