When you're not a hikikomori, it becomes hard to do pretty much anything consistently. When you have a job and a life, even without a spouse and/or child, shit gets in the way. When we lived in Beacon, NY we made four GeekNights episodes a week. What else were we supposed to do? We had nothing outside of work to fill our time. But the more we live in NYC, the less time for podcasting. Rym's current job makes him travel more and more all the time. I keep going biking any time the sun pokes its head out. We'll just have to carry on as we always have. Any day there should be a podcast, and we're both home, we'll make one. At least with the newsletter, there is very little that can prevent me from having time and ability to type. I hope this makes up at least partially for the episodes you aren't getting.

Meta Moments

PAX Prime tickets are going to go on sale any minute. Everyone is spamming their F5 key. If you want to go, I suggest you do the same. If you want to go to a convention where tickets are very easy to obtain, may I suggest Connecticon? Those are pretty much your only chances to see us any time in the near future. The book club selection is A Canticle for Leibowitz.It fits into the trend of books about a (mostly) sealed-off society in a post-apocalyptic world. Every geek's favorite fictional setting!


Apparently TinyLetter (the service I use for the newsletter) allows you to reply directly to the newsletter. If you do this, I will see it! A reader, Mike, sent in two questions. 

Do you have an opinion on Terra Mystica? Our gaming group has played it a few times and it had a lot of the things that make Puerto Rico interesting. Figured you'd like it and was wondering if you guys had played it. 

It's supposed to be a really great Eurogame on the same level as all the other great Eurogames. There's just been less Eurogaming overall going on for us. I've been meaning to play it for a long time, but it just hasn't happened. I'm sure it's great, but I won't know for sure until I try.

2. Do you have an opinion on an anime called Log Horizon? I am not an amine person and have watched only a few based on your comments. I thought Madoka was amazing but am not enjoying Kill La Kill as much as you. I started watching Log Horizon and am enjoying it, but suspect it falls into the mediocre category.

I've never heard of Log Horizon. I know nothing about it. I gave it the Google Image search test just now. Looks like generic fantasy. Also, the fact that I haven't heard of it, negatively or positively, is a strong indicator that it's completely average. Have you seen Slayers? You probably shouldn't be watching any fantasy anime unless you've seen that first. But judging by your opinion of Kill La Kill, you've already lost your way.

Thanks, Mike!

Lonely Geekeries

Here at GeekNights we preach many things. But the number one thing we preach above all is branching out to multiple geekeries. That geek who likes Star Trek and only Star Trek is pretty sad. That geek who knows tech, plays some board games, has a favorite sports team, makes pottery, and practices a martial art is an interesting person worth knowing. And of course, we practice what we preach. But taking it too far, and having too many hobbies has its own problems that I'm beginning to experience.

I have so many hobbies, I don't have time for all of them. You should see the stack of unbuilt Gunpla next to my desk. Or maybe you would like to check out any of the pile of unread comics from my ever-growing library? I know you have your own library of unplayed Steam games. It's one thing to only spend a little time on a hobby, but to spend no time is very frustrating. I just do whatever I'm in the mood for, and something like bicycling or Netrunner just wins out over the other options, even though I would like to do them, I want to do something else even more.

I refer to this phenomena as the bowling ball. When I was young we would sometimes go bowling when it was someone's birthday or another similar occasion. One time my friend's dad got really into it and bought a ball and shoes. But did he join the bowling league? No, he went bowling just as often as we always had. Those items of geekery sat in his closet unloved, just like your Steam games. Whenever I buy something for a new geekery, I think to myself, "is this a bowling ball?" I suggest you do the same. You'll save a lot of money.

But it's not just the equipment that becomes lonely, but the geek as well. Sometimes when I go biking, someone will go with me, but most of the time its by myself. I have friends who bike, but they usually aren't biking at the same time in the same place. Congratulations, you didn't waste money on the bowling ball. You got a lot of use out of it. But all the times you used it, you went to the bowling alley and rolled on your own. Is that more or less sad than the bowling ball sitting in the closet unused?

What of a hobby that is solitary like anime? You almost always watch it on your own, but you have someone to talk about it with afterwards. Lately, though, I'm mostly watching Korean television. There's almost nobody to talk about that with. I have friends with a slight interest in it, but it's much lower on their list than it is on mine. If I try to force them to listen to me talk about it, that's a prime example of being "that guy." That's actually the #1 thing "that guy" does. They talk at you about the thing they are very excited about, that you do not care about at all. They do not see the social queues that the other person is not interested, and they don't stop. If you watch Game of Thrones like everyone else, it's no problem. Who are you going to find to talk about crazy Park Bom and Nana on SBS Roommate? Yeah, that's what I thought.

And what of the hobby that has dominated all of my other interests fo the last year? The great and glorious Android: Netrunner? On the one hand, it couldn't be further from lonely. I play the game a lot, and I only play in person with real people. I've met a lot of people playing the game, and made many new friends. While I enjoy being with these friends, and I'm glad to have met them, we aren't very close. At least, they aren't nearly as close as the friends I've had for much longer. They probably never will be. We pretty much only interact through the game, and very rarely outside of it. Should I be spending hours with the less-close friends I could be spending with my best friends?

I only play Netrunner as a backup activity if nothing else is happening, but that ends up being quite often. And even though I don't cancel plans to play, it still results in me at least feeling like I'm spending less time with my old friends. I assume that before I had a game to play, I would have put forth an effort to make a plan in that time slot. Now I only end up seeing anyone if the plan came from them. I also tend to care less about bailing out of a plan that is wavering because I have a backup. Before Netrunner I would have fought more to prevent others from bailing out.

Wouldn't it be great if my close friends were also doing the same geekeries? Yeah, sure. I can't force them to like it and spend their time on it. On the same token, they can't, and won't, force me to do the things they are doing like skiing or watching HBO series. When you are a person of many interests, that's the kind of decision you end up having to make. Will you spend time on the activity of your choice, or with the people of your choice? You often can't have both. Just remember how lucky you are that you even have this decision to make, and it won't matter.