Category Archives: IRL

In real life. Posts about life as we know it. See also our Meta posts.

The Benefits of Escapism

Sometimes, the world really sucks. It’s beginning to feel like every time we start to heal and move on from one tragedy or disaster, another strikes. Last week I was dealing with flooding in our area, and the persistent threat of tornadoes, but all of that faded into the background with what happened in Orlando.

This is by no means a post rehashing the news, or remarking on the politics now surrounding it. I’m in dire need of a break from it all, just as I’m sure you all are, no matter your personal affiliations. It’s times like these that I really do marvel at the beauty of literature, music, and films to take one’s mind off of things. This is when I’m most in need of all guilty pleasures, no matter how small. Red wine and some cookie dough ice cream while watching Netflix? Yep, I’m there.

One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures is historical romance novels. For a bit of light reading full of lush clothing and descriptive language, it can be interesting enough to keep my attention and absorb me so that I forget the awfulness of the world around me. Plus, it has the benefit of being comfortingly predictable; as a reader, you know exactly where the story is heading. Love will triumph and the hero and heroine will ride off into the sunset together. It’s incredibly reassuring and serves its purpose wonderfully: escapism.

Everyone has their own form of escapism. Literature is a fantastic one, because you can honestly imagine yourself in the shoes of a heroine and lose yourself in a new world that you create in your mind. Geek culture is full of ways to indulge in escapism. Science fiction and fantasy novels can be brilliant, richly detailed escapism. The multitude of geek-central television shows we currently have, whether presently airing or available on Netflix (Firefly, anyone?) are a fantastic source of comfort right now. Plus with all of the great movies coming out this year, there has to be one or another that you can check out in the weeks to come.

The Nine Alignments of Firefly

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

I’ve talked before about how I use the phrase “popcorn movie” as a positive phrase because there is something so deliciously wonderful about being able to absorb myself in a film for two hours, whether or not the movie is full of substance. Popcorn movies are perfect for times like these, when all we really want is to munch some popcorn in a dark theatre and “ooo” and “ahhh” over some really cool graphics and Good vs. Evil stories. Especially because popcorn movies, like historical romance novels, give us the sense that good/love can and will win.

So I say make sure to indulge in some escapism this weekend, in whatever awesomely geeky way you want. And then Monday, pick yourself back up and face the world and do your best to emulate the heroes in the fandom you indulged in and try to make sure that good will win, even in our presently sucky world. Whether by speaking out against hate, donating time, money, or blood, writing to your lawmakers or voting, or even reaching out to your friends and family and letting them know you love them. Use your geeky escapism to bolster your spirits and refresh yourself so that you can help tackle the problems we all face.

We May Have to Watch More of This… Sesame Street

So we have started occasionally showing the Geek Baby some videos and such online – like Winnie the Pooh per our poll – and then we remembered that HBO bought Sesame Street, and that means we have access to it there.

We’ve watched a bit of classic Sesame Street, and the Geek Baby can’t really sit through a whole episode, so she wanders off a bit into it but it’s fun. Holly and I both certainly get some nostalgia from it.

And then today we put on the most recent episode, last weekend’s Music Magic. And who cares what the Geek Baby thought… we were awestruck.

This fairy, in fact.

This fairy, in fact.

First, the long opening segment was about Elmo being left the new fairy character’s magic wand. He casts a spell, and suddenly everyone around him is singing whatever they say. And they can’t stop singing whatever they say. Holly and I could not stop thinking – and it seemed rightly so – of the Buffy episode “Once More with Feeling,” the musical episode.

Good times. And then the episode went on, you know, songs and letters and numbers. These things. Anyway, it continues on to a segment about listening carefully. With Cookie Monster.

At Hogwarts.

“Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies,” to be precise, and there’s a muppet of Dumbledore there too with a funny name and it was amazing. There were cute house banners in the background, Cookie Monster doing magic, it was just…

When did Sesame Street become so geeky? I don’t know, but I like it. I think this watching kids’ shows thing might work out for us…

Top 5 Ways That a Baby is Like CL4P-TP (Clap-Trap)

CL4P-TP Corollary

Liked CL4P-TP so much that it’s the centerpiece of my Warmachine army.

A while back, and with a younger Geek Baby, I talked about how a baby is a lot like a bad boss. As the Geek Baby has grown, I’ve come to think of another strong analogy for what I am reminded of.

Beyond looking good in yellow and being short and fast, a baby is a lot like CL4P-TP, or Clap-Trap, from the Borderlands video game franchise. A prominent NPC in the first two games, and a playable character in the third game…  the game 1.5? The Pre-Sequel. Clap-trap is always good for a laugh, for an annoyance, and sometimes for the plot. In the second game, he is your early-game tutorial. He’s the antagonist of a DLC in the first game.

And he’s incredibly quotable.

So here are my top five reasons that a baby is a lot like CL4P-TP.

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My Adopt Don’t Shop Story

So even though X-Men Apocalypse was the one movie I’ve really been looking forward to this year, I have a confession…

I haven’t seen it yet. P and I instead spent the weekend making a big life-changing decision.

We rescued a dog. We’ve been talking about getting a dog together for most of our relationship, and it was finally a good time to do so. I brought a lovebird into our relationship, but we really wanted a dog too, and so he’s now older brother to our rescue, Frankie (Frank the Tank).

20160318_191851Looking sassy post-bath

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Coming Soon to Comparative Geeks

So what needs to be said first of all is that we are moving! We have decided that to expand our options on with Comparative Geeks we are going to move to a self-hosted site in the beginning of July. There will be a lot of exciting things coming including new features and posts going up seven days a week. By hosting the site ourselves it gives us an option to potentially expand. This is an exciting new adventure and we hope that you will come along for the ride with us. Here are some of the exciting new things we are including in the new website.

Shadow Surprise!

Podcast

This is probably one of the biggest things we are adding and that is a podcast called Comparative Opinions. We are still trying to figure out the exact formatting, but we are planning on posting it once a week, keeping it to 30 to 45 minutes. It is probably going to start with just David and I talking about the same sorts of things we blog about, just in a different format. Eventually we are hoping to include some other bloggers and potentially interviews, but for now we are going to keep it simple to start.

Forums

Now something that we are going to hope that we can use to get more feedback and participation from the audience is a forum. We are hoping to potentially use it as a place to discuss books, movies, and explore other questions about a variety of geeky things. Eventually we might use it to start a book club or even a movie club of some sort to allow everyone to participate in a longer term discussion.

Additional Contributors

So another reason that we are going down this direction is to increase the number of contributor posts. We are trying to make Comparative Geeks not just the Holly-and-David show, but be something that can be a place for others to join in. Whether they have sites of their own or want a place to post without needing their own hosting. Eventually we would like to grow to be able to have more than one post a day, but that is a bit more of a distant dream right now.

So if you or someone you know wants to geek out a little as a contributor we would be happy to talk to you about what that could be. Whether it is an occasional post or a regular spot, there are all sorts of options. You can either leave a comment below or you are welcome to email us a comparativegeeks@gmail.com!

And stay tuned for more updates over the next month!