Okay, first of all, a couple apologies regarding my last post. First for that comment about my sons eating the equivalent of the Gross Domestic Product of a small to moderate agrarian nation. Reading it over again last night, I couldn't help thinking that I'd started to wander into Erma Bombeck territory. Or at the very least, was now writing the kind of material you see middle-aged lady standups performing: you know, my husband's a macho buffoon, my kids are blah blah blah, yada yada yada my vagina, and so on. So once again, my apologies.
Second, the stuff about paying for autographs. I realized earlier today that one of my closest friends, Kevin, recently took his family to Dragon Con and did exactly that. Now, just to be clear, were I at Dragon Con there would be many things I would be all over, and my envy for Kevin going there is palpable and borders on rage, it's just that lining up to meet celebrities would not be one of my activities. Part of it is probably that I feel that whole process just fuels their hate for their fans, though it is more likely that deep down I believe that it would fuel their hate for me in particular. And Kevin has now met Edward James Olmos while I have not. Furthermore he has a picture of Edward with his arm around Kev's shoulder to prove it, so overall I lose.
Anyway, back to where I left off yesterday. Family man, 40s, no free time, kind of a nerd. Check.
So I love lots of nerd stuff, but to a less obsessive degree than others in my social circle. Except movies. I think most of my friends cede that one to me for the most part, and it is probably the one subject I can discuss with my friends where I don't detect a barely-concealed condescension from them. Hell, I've even gotten the occasional phone call from them to settle a movie argument.
Now coming in second among my great passions (not including Karen; I could give all these things up in a day if that's what you demanded my darling) (Is she gone?) (I think so) (*phew*), and the one that, more than any of the others sets me firmly in nerd territory, has always been gaming. I have always loved board games and have owned, played and enjoyed everything from Monopoly to Squad Leader to Settlers of Catan. I also love role-playing games and my younger days were filled with long nights of Dungeons and Dragons and GURPS. And though I never got an Atari 2600 when I was a kid (though I would have paid any price, up to and including contract murders), our family did get an Intellivision a year or two later, and for a time my life felt complete.
When I hit my 20s I got into computer gaming and started with an Amiga 500 which, a year later, I upgraded to ONE FULL MEGABYTE of RAM. Holy shit! The thing was a beast!
On and on it went through the years, with new computers and console systems flowing in and out of my house (but mostly in, according to Karen; people on our street often hear the cry of, “We don't have room for all this shit!” radiating from our windows). The last two PCs I owned were hand-built by me (with the help of a smarter, nerdier friend), and now I have a sleek, shiny iMac which has served me faithfully for over four years now. All three of my kids are computer and video game addicts, something which I quite frankly consider to be a failing on my part as a Father, but all three of them are also socially well-adjusted and seem to be functioning well in society in general, so it's unlikely that at some point I will have a 30-year old living in my basement drinking Mountain Dew Code Red and eating his weight in Hot Pockets. We take our comforts where we can.
One day, not long ago, I was talking to a couple of my kids about a particular video game and asked how long it takes to play through to the end. The response was, “About eight hours. But for you? I don't know, twenty?”, said with the kind of condescension that only a teen, or maybe an American Idol judge, can muster up.
After their inevitable high-fiving was done, I got to thinking – when did I become the low man on the gaming totem pole in my own house? Wasn't it like, two years ago that I was deliberately driving off cliffs in Mario Kart so these guys would be able to catch up to me?
The answer, of course, is no. I am 46 years old, and one of the by-products of being this age is that everything seems like it happened way more recently than it actually did. So every once in a while you find yourself spouting old guy shit and losing bets to your nephew because you insisted that CSI has only been on the air for five or six years. Turns out it premiered in 2000. So don't make that bet with your nephew. You will lose. And be mocked.
How, you ask, did this epiphany lead to my contributing to the white noise that the blogosphere has become? And holy shit, spellcheck did not try to correct the word, “blogosphere”. It's an official word now. Anyway, tune in for my next post which should wrap up what I intended to be a brief introduction to my “You Magnificent Bastard” blog. All will become clear on that day my friends, and then we will all link hands and sing songs of celebration and joy. Be there!