By Gil Gonzalez
As a self proclaimed, sports, technology, and music geek, it doesn’t take much to get me revved up. Anything I find cool or fascinating can easily get my geek juices flowing. The complete Star Wars anthology on BluRay, box seats to a sporting event, meet-and-greet with one of my favorite authors, backstage passes to a show, figuring out how to perform a screen capture on my phone; like I said, it really doesn’t take much.
Most recently, I’ve been geeking out about the movies. The American version of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ premiers this week, and Lee and I will be attending a special Tuesday night screening of the film. I’ve been anticipating this movie since I fell in love with the character of Lisbeth Salander and the entire Millennium Trilogy. After I read the first book, I quickly devoured the second book and then the third. I stayed up late watching all three Swedish movie adaptations (thank you, NetFlix), and I, of course, followed every article written and piece of information distributed about the upcoming US film version. I was hooked.
I find myself doing the same with ‘The Hunger Games’. I loved the first book of the trilogy and am more than half way done with the second book. With the movie version coming out in March 2012, I am sure my geek will peak, and I’ll be at the movies opening night for that film as well.
And, of course, there are the upcoming releases of ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ that will sure to have me in full-on geek mode next summer. I think I need to add movies to the self proclamation list I mentioned earlier.
There’s something uniquely energetic about letting yourself get geeked up about something. My friend uses the phrase “get’s off” when describing something that is so fun and enjoyable and satisfying. It’s a great way to describe it, but that phrase does come with its share of social awkwardness.
Still, I think the key to the geek out or ‘getting off’ is part of what makes us unique as individuals. It’s more than just likes and dislikes. It’s more than simply a preference of Coke over Pepsi or Burger King over McDonald’s. Instead, I believe the geek out occurs when we’re in tune with ourselves, and the multiple components that make up our personality align perfectly. It’s a controlled euphoria that’s wrapped in a layer of deep understanding and covered with a sprinkle of exuberance and ego. Yes, ego, because every geek moment has, in some shape, way, or form a flavor of, “Look at how awesome this is and look at how much it means to me.”
I have lived a very blessed life, and I’ve been very fortunate to have had my fair share of super-awesome geek out moments. More importantly, I’ve been able to share most of those moments with those whom I consider close to me.
Yet through it all, nothing rivals the how much I get off at seeing my children succeed. The feeling is beyond surreal whenever I watch either of my kids reach a goal or attain an accomplishment. It was my daughter stopping a penalty kick in the playoffs of her recreational soccer league. It was my son standing his ground in the face of an older and taller opponent on the basketball court. It’s watching their eyes as they learn something new; seeing the light bulb go off in their head as they finally get it. It’s being able to see them develop into their own persons, extending kindness to others, and realizing that whatever my ex and I are doing as parents, we’re apparently doing something right.
It’s parental pride.
Keep your sideline passes. I don’t need the VIP tickets. Who cares about the latest gadget? Nothing geeks me out more than having someone compliment my kids because of who they are and how they act.