All Stuff is Nerd Stuff to Somebody

Yesterday, I had the very great pleasure of attending the wedding of two friends of mine.

I also got kind of shanghai’d (in a good way) into live-Tweeting the ceremony, because live-Tweeting something automatically takes the Nerd level of an event and doubles it, and this thing was going to be pretty Nerdy.

Super-nerdy. Full-frontal Nerdity.

It was so nerdy that there were whole sections of the evening that referenced nerd stuff I knew nothing about, and I think it’s fair to say I keep up to date on such things. Until yesterday morning, talking with MJ, I had no idea who Parry Gripp was (aside from the guy who wrote the awesome processional for the wedding). I quoted the “shark week” vow in my live-tweets, but I didn’t know it was originally a bit from 30 Rock. I didn’t recognize the recessional music, because I don’t watch Venture Brothers. Most of the boutonnieres at the wedding were made by Paula; I didn’t even know Paula could knit.

Then someone told me they were actually crocheted. Cuz there’s a difference between the two.

Then they explained the difference.

In detail.

That’s actually what I remember most fondly about the dinner after the wedding; the pure nerd-grade enthusiasm I saw over and over again from the people at the party. I passed one table where people discussed the various reasons an Aboleth Slime Mage would ultimately destroy (or subjugate) the (far more impressive looking) Cyclops Warlord that decorated another table. Elsewhere, folks were working out the recipe for a delicious curry soup we were having — reverse-engineering the recipe from scratch.

The thing you love may frighten others.

Kate gave one of our friends a crash course in SLR terminology and some advice on aperture and ISO settings as the afternoon light changed, and a few hours later jumped into a discussion with me and the best man discussing the relative strengths of various MMOs and the fact that Bioware could pretty much take a monthly tithe from our paychecks and just ship us whatever game they released, and we’d be happy.

Maybe this is your nerd thing.

Nerds get categorized and pigeonholed and stereotyped and – broadly speaking – limited by the perceptions of others, but here’s the truth of the matter:

Almost everyone is a nerd about something; passionate, intelligent, enthusiastic, and more than willing to share all that with anyone who asks.

Let me tell you about the Battle of Five Armies, and why it mattered so much to the success of the War of the Ring...

Heck yeah, we’re nerds. Of course we are. We care about stuff.

Like this thing...

Are you nerding out about the idea of a walking/rolling post-apoc town, or the idea of building something that cool in Lego?

Does it matter?

And anyway, those are just the easy-to-define nerd things — the archetypes (or sterotypes).

There’s so much more stuff out there; so much more passion.

“All stuff is Nerd Stuff to Somebody.” — me

Maybe it's this...
There's this...
Or this.
Or one of these.

What I meant by that quote is just that you can find someone who’s passionate and excited about virtually any topic you can think of.

And that’s excellent.

Yesterday, I watched two of my friends get married — vow to always try to be passionate and excited and ready to share — to add one more thing to the list of Stuff they’re Total Nerds about: each other.

I cannot think of a finer promise to make another person, and I am unaccountably blessed to have been a part of it.

Thanks guys.

Now let’s go play some games.

Photo by Chuck Wendig.

4 Replies to “All Stuff is Nerd Stuff to Somebody”

  1. That was really, really beautiful. Thank you for live-tweeting the whole thing. As one of their nerdy friends, it was the best possible way I could attend without attending.

    Nerd Love Forever!

  2. The world is just going to get nerdier and nerdier, too. Through most of the 20th century and all of the 19th, info-channels were narrow and the transmission of ideas was limited. Everyone read Charles Dickens because lots of people could agree on him and printing was expensive. Everyone listened to the Beatles because lots of people loved them and running a radio station or pressing a record was expensive. Now? Cable channels proliferate, ZeFrank can throw together a video in an afternoon and have it available to millions by evening. You don’t have to settle for something almost everybody likes. You can focus on the thing that hits your bullseye, even if you only share it with its creator and a hundred other fans who Get It.

    The question is, does this mean the end of Beatles and Dickens? Whither things most people like?


  3. It’s a great time to be a nerd.

    I don’t think the growth of niche-nerd-interests will necessarily spell the end to the Next Big Popular Thing. More and more, people can have their private niche interests, but I don’t feel like those interests make me immune to a zeitgeist like the Beatles or what have you.

    It might insulate me a bit, though — like living through a nuclear blast because your walls are lined with books. Today’s Beatles-analog would get responses like “yeah, they’re good — and I’m definitely getting their next album — they remind me of [incredibly obscure Toronto band]; you haven’t heard of them? Lemme show you their website, they’re awesome…”

    Like that? Yeah, a little bit like that.

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