Monday, August 15, 2011

Define Your Geekery!

Monday is behaving like a proper tool already today. I don’t have a review to post as I am currently mid-book (s), and I actually officially gave up on watching TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY after ep 5 (Chris will likely keep watching, so he hopefully will keep you updated on that front) as I was beyond unimpressed with the revamped show. So today being a bastard of a Monday I thought we’d have a little fun.

We don’t get as many comments as we’d like here and we love discussion, so why not do a post that would hopefully get people to chime in.

Thus I have invented:

Define Your Geekery

My geekery runs into various areas and categories. On a crappy Monday like today I like to remember all the stuff that makes me happy, thus effectively banishing Monday Blues. Some of this might be stuff you don’t know and some you might.

That said, it should be noted that yes, of course I like TV and Movies, but their definition would run into the “list” category and would be fairly boring to read about I assure you, so I won’t really touch on that.

Books. Well of course books! My book fetish is deeply rooted and has various branches. Most folk who know me are aware that I go to bookstores (be they Indigo/Chapters, or used book stores) on almost a daily basis. I most often don’t have anything specific I am looking for, but the act of being around books on that scale centers me. If I am having a bad day, going to a bookstore normally calms me down. I run my fingers along the spines, and I smell the paper everything is printed on.

The second branch of books and reading would be something that the world has taken to calling Book Porn. This is, in effect, photography of fantastic or unique or even classic libraries around the world. The Holy Grail of these would without a doubt be Jay Walker’s Library (above & Wired article @ link) on a quiet estate in New England, a stunning collection of books, but also of years of human imagination in the form of geek pop culture and historical knickknacks. Of note would be the fact that Walker wasn’t obsessed with collecting the First Edition’s of everything, and was more concerned with having the books on his shelf that he would want to read, collector monetary value seemingly mattered little to him. Thus is he a fellow after my own tastes. At any rate, there is a group of folk on the interwebz dedicated to photography of these amazing libraries, and on a daily basis there seems to be more and more. I literally salivate in a Pavlovian way whenever I see these photos.

Which brings me to a 3rd branch of my Book Geekery. My own future Library. I have slowly (over probably the last 20 years or so) been building up my library content-wise. I am discerning when I choose what I keep and what is worthy of special note ect. One day these books will hopefully grace the shelves of a custom library. The ONLY thing I ever requested from my girlfriend about when we buy a house together is that one empty room will become the basis for my library, and that I would spend my money on it. Most guys have a Man Cave right? Well mine is simply going to be my library. Amongst books and mahogany shelves will dwell at least two big cushy chairs, hopefully one desk for writing, and numerous odds and ends for display (some of which I have already). Par example: I have two small suits of armour that were given to me, an old globe, a Wand replica from Harry Potter, and even a Dalek From DOCTOR WHO. I want old world classicism (like a wing in the Royal Geographic Society lounge circa 1920), mixed with some modern geekery and perhaps even a few modern comforts. That will be my Man Cave, and it will make me happy to not only work meticulously on making it superb, but also to one day pass the entirety of its contents along to my children. Is that a pipe dream? Probably. Will that stop me from dreaming about it and working towards it? Never.

Classical music. An aside: My father was raised by a difficult and stern disciplinarian (My Grandfather) who basically forced him to play the Violin as a child. This was an activity that he did not particularly enjoy simply because my Grandfather apparently approached it with a fervor that could only adequately be described as religious. He was persecuted by schoolyard bullies for playing an instrument instead of playing sports, and even had his knuckles dragged along a brick wall till they bled so he couldn’t play. So while he has painful memories about the ordeal, his enjoyment of the classical composers remained with him. So in 1984 he took me to see AMADEUS in the theatre. I was a fan on that day and every one after. Obsessed with not only Mozart, but Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky and their ilk as well. This is something that I didn’t allow to flourish as a teen since I’d have gotten ridiculed for liking bands like NIN and Smashing Pumpkins, but also composers who had been dead for centuries. It wasn’t until my twenties that I really allowed my enjoyment of them out to play. Later in my early 30’s, joined by my equally Classical-loving girlfriend, I started to get out to see the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and watch these classics I’ve loved for years performed live. The TSO is now, a few years later, a regular outing for us. We find ourselves getting to hear perhaps various light classics on a Saturday Afternoon, or longer events like Mozart’s REQUIEM, or Vivaldi’s THE FOUR SEASON’S in their entirety on a Saturday night, dressed to the nines and following a sumptuous dinner.  A quirky note: One of my favourite things (in symphonies, musicals, opera’s or otherwise) about an orchestra is that few seconds before they play when they all tune up and there is that cacophony of mingled brass, string, wind and percussion. It gives me gooseflesh every time.

Traveling. One thing about my family has always perplexed me. My mother, father, step-people, and even my sister and her family don’t travel. They don’t get excited about traveling. They don’t really talk about it even when they return from a trip. They don’t plan anything on a yearly basis. It’s basically deemed a “getaway” and that’s it. They usually cite money as a reason, but all these family members spend their hard-earned coin on things for their houses, gadgets, or what have you. I never understood why they wouldn’t save a chunk each year (that they spend on random H&G stuff for the house) for a trip the following year and expand their horizons by seeing what this planet has to offer. It melts my brain in fact, since once you start traveling you realize just how huge this planet is and the wonders it can show you are entirely stunning. Alas, they don’t get excited, they don’t plan trips and they certainly haven’t gotten the “travel bug” from the trips they have gone on.

I’m a different bean. Perhaps I was found on a doorstep. Probably stemming from a childhood spent reading (and collecting) National Geographic magazines (at least until I would have needed a shed to store them in) I have always been absolutely fascinated by the planet we live on. I had never gotten to travel until recently simply because I didn’t have anyone to go away with. My girlfriend, on the other hand, is a traveling machine and she showed me the way to get the travel bug. I did. In spades, and have been to more places in the last 3 years than I have in my whole life. I’ve seen a 6th Century Monastery in the emerald green hills south of Dublin, Ireland, I’ve wandered on the cobbled streets of steamy, modern Havana, had fresh fish for dinner on a wharf in Annapolis, Maryland, climbed to the top of a mountain in St. Lucia and gazed upon 14th century cannons, walked down the chaotic Las Vegas strip and played the slots at the Bellagio, and even sat in awe of the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond in the Highlands of Scotland. I wouldn’t trade ANY of those memories for the world. They may seem like only a smattering of places, but the way I see it we are only getting started. Traveling for me is one of the most refreshing thing a person can do. It recharges you physically obviously, but I also feel that it does so mentally on a level that I can’t properly explain. I’m totally geeky about it as well. I buy the coolest daypacks that Osprey and MEC sell, the most durable hiking boots/shoes that I can find and all the little knickknackery that goes along with traveling. I want to feel like an explorer, seeing these things for the first time can be breathtaking and I want to experience like long ago explorer’s did (as much as one can in the modern world at any rate). When we are home, we are usually saving for and planning the next trip (in fact we have more than one in the queue now, one for next year and one for the following year as well) as we don’t like to sit idle too long. Is this proper geekery? Sure it is. I think that getting to see certain things has helped change my worldwide perception and made me more aware of other cultures and lives, but it also fulfills a dream that a little kid who would gaze wide-eyed at those thick yellow magazines and dream of seeing those places.

That’s it for my geekery today. While this is not all the geekery I subscribe to (I am afraid there are oodles of layers), it is a few of the significant things that make me who I am and why I try to bring you all interesting posts here so that perhaps I can help with your geekery as well.

What I would to see is for our readers to share their geekery or stories of geekery in the comments! come on folks, let us hear your wild and crazy nerdiness.


  1. for such a mother of a monday, you sure put together a beautiful post!

    we share much of the same geeklove. how's this for library pr0n: mozart's requiem on your headphones as you fondle the textured spines in the rare book room of a university library.

    they don't let me in the rare book room w/out parental supervision anymore.

  2. Mmmmm, Book Porn ....
    My goal for my personal library is to have a floor to ceiling book case that runs along one or two walls, and I'd have to use a ladder on castors to reach the top books (like the library scene in Bedknobs and Broomsticks).

    My geekery extends to comic books and things like Magic: The Gathering too. Books, however, are my primary source of geekery :)

  3. Don't tempt me Red, that sounds sublime and I don't want to get banned from the rare books room too! LOL

    @Jaime, Oh totally, the slidey ladder (as I have termed it) is KEY in the library! Great point sir.



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