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6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 0 replies · +2 points

Don't worry, I like cats!

I had an earlier conversation with my mother once and it somehow got into suggesting there be cybernetic gators to handle the rats (based on that urban legend about some being in the sewers), but they're cold blooded and wouldn't survive the winter. So that is why I likely drifted towards mammals. Cats, dogs, rats and pigeons are quintessential NYC creatures.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 0 replies · +3 points

Nothing works on NY subway rats. They evolve faster than we can keep up with!

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 0 replies · +4 points

I am so so so sorry. R.I.P. :-(

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 5 replies · +6 points

I'm a night owl so I'm usually still up at 3 a.m. My job requires me to work until 9 and then I do other things online (like write articles about comic books for a website) until the a.m. hours. So most of my 3 a.m. thoughts revolve around dinner and watching whatever true crime show is on Escape.

Sometimes I mull about being lonely and single, but that's boring. Often times I am brainstorming stuff for either the X-Men message board RPG I run or a review I need to do of something, but that's boring too. I'm usually coming home in the early a.m. hours so my thoughts usually involve how shoddy the MTA is. Once a conductor botched a line after yet another delay and literally said, "Once again, we apologize for any convenience," on the loudspeaker. Sadly, I was the only one not on an iPhone or asleep to hear it. Other times its a mix of feeling sympathy for all the homeless people around me and alertness in case one of them tries to shiv me (or someone else).

Waiting for the train once I took notice of all the rats on the tracks and wondered what could be done beyond sanitation, since cleaning better or asking riders not to be slobs with food stuff seems impossible. I wondered if there was some way to introduce a natural predator who could navigate the tunnels to eat them while also surviving down there and not threatening riders. Somehow that became "cybernetic tunnel cats" in my head. Then I knew I needed sleep.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 1 reply · +4 points

I'm sorry for you and your family. Hopefully everything works out for the best. Star strong, even when it's tough.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Wednesday Open Thread:... · 0 replies · +7 points

What's my secret identity hiding? A guy nearing his mid 30's who's embarrassed at his lack of romantic success and having moments of vulnerability or weakness a lot. I deliberately chose this code-name (for my Wordpress blog and thus here) because it bluntly gets to the heart of what I use the cover ID to express. I deliberately am vague about certain things, even on my own blog, because I am petrified that someone will figure out that this and my "real virtual identity" that I use for Facebook or comic book related articles are one and the same and go "AHA! ______ IS A VIRGIN LOSER!" and I'm not prepared for that. Just last week, my supervisor made a joke about older male virgins in complete ignorance of my state and I had to awkwardly smile along with everyone else (the whole office was in hysterics). I know it's nothing like having to hide a secret such as sexual orientation, but it still is something which to the mainstream is seen as an embarrassment at best.

I read the Wordpress blog of another older male virgin and comment there, and vice versa, and one day he cottoned on that we live in the same state and he suggested meeting up to share war stories over a few beers via email. Standard guy stuff. I wasn't prepared for it and I politely declined. I realized that while I may easily fill up a text window about my insecurities involving romance or my own virginity, but I'm not prepared to talk about it in real life, to another live person, who already knows my secret (especially someone who ONLY knows me due to my revealing of it online). Even with friends or family, any question involving my love life makes me feel anxious and awkward, like a box I don't want to open. As Dateless-Man I can speak openly and honestly about my feelings so long as I stay somewhat vague about my identity. Fortunately, being a fan of comic books I have some experience with this, even if it's nowhere near as exciting. I'd much rather be hiding the fact that I was Spider-Man.

In real life I'm more of a deadpan snarker and/or a cynical wise-cracker (with a mix of hammy Will Farrell style humor). Usually if I monologue about anything it is geek stuff. I dread delving into real feelings, and prefer to try to keep things light. To the point that I've had classmates and co-workers express surprise whenever I revealed that I'm really shy; once I relax in an environment I'm a chatter box.

One of the benefits of an online handle is that it does allow you to be anonymous to a point. A lot of people use this to be bullies or lash out at groups they think wronged them. I use it to delve into feelings or shames or anxiety that I can't or rarely reveal without the mask. It has been helpful.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - How to Handle Being "J... · 0 replies · +6 points

Great article and one I can wholeheartedly agree with. I've always found the idea that "men and women can't be friends" to be bunk and toxic as well. I hate it when men treat "the Friend Zone" as someplace Zor-El can send them if they can't get romantic with a woman or something. It doesn't exist; it simply means that a woman doesn't like someone "that way", or vice versa (but, as DNL suggests, the angst over this is mostly a straight male problem).

In my own life, I've been capable of being friends with quite a few women. While I'll admit that some of these began as unrequited crushes when I was younger (and one case from just a few months ago), I also am fully capable of being friends with women who I have absolutely 0% romantic interest in while also respecting them and cherishing their friendship. One was a woman I met in my high school "comic book club" (which in practice was "watch anime for an hour with the AV equipment" club) who was awesome but I had zero romantic interest in (and vice versa) who I had to defend to my guy friends for "being ugly" more than once. And another is a woman I initially met online in 2001 who I've met IRL a few times who I can say without any doubt is one of the best friends I've ever had. We talk every day and we each value each other's friendship. I'd been a worse person without her continued friendship, and I'm certain she'd say the same about me. It's 100% platonic.

The irony of this article in my case is that while DNL is making the case for men being able to form emotional attachments to women which have nothing to do with sex or romance and that being a GOOD thing, when I personally seem to have the opposite problem. And not only am I perfectly willing and able to be a loyal friend, I'm practically willing to do so to an almost selfless degree. For a recent example (as in, late 2015 to a couple of months ago recent), an ex of one of my friends who lives locally to me and I've met a few times at gatherings over the years began to chat with me via instant message on Facebook after months of casual Facebook interact (likes, sharing snarky comments to her statuses, etc.). She was initially impressed when I attached her to some chain letter sort of thing involving superheroes and she thought the one I chose for her (the Helena Bertinelli Huntress) was apt. Then she began to reflect her woes with finding the right guy to date after being dumped or having some guys she liked do the "fade out" immediately after a first date. It became clear to me that she needed someone to vent to and chose me for whatever reason. Later on she said that she liked my analysis of things and that I "made everything sound so reasonable". I'd harbored a crush on her (she's extremely intelligent, has a successful career and is gorgeous to boot) but she expressed wanting to take a break from dating and I didn't feel right making a pass at her when she came to me for emotional support and guidance. I'm very aware that it's hard for women to try to seek advice from men or talk to one without having to fend off a pass, so I usually don't make one unless I get clear signals; which I wasn't. She even expressed distress at another friend of hers who was trying to shift things to romance (albeit with awkward stuff like a drunken kiss). At one point she was so down that I feared she'd hurt herself. Thankfully, things improved for her and she's dating a guy she's utterly smitten with, and I am glad for her. Since I had a crush on her I'd admit some quiet sadness that she wasn't interested in me in the short term but I don't discount her friendship and I'd rather be a friend to someone than "that creep who hit on me when I didn't want it" to someone. If anything, most women who get to know me seem to have no problem befriending me; it's seeing me as any sort of viable romantic option which is unfathomable.

She's hardly the only women who I initially had an unrequited crush on who shifted into friend or acquaintance territory in my life. I never see it as some "gambit" to romance or some lesser prize. If anything, I'm glad to get any attention at all. I'm very aware that friendship is a powerful thing, something which can sometimes matter more than romantic love. I certainly am willing to be more vulnerable to a friend who is a woman than one who's a man (where admitting any weakness or sadness feels off to me). I hardly go around unloading baggage on my pals at all times; far from it, in fact.

As much as many of us (especially men) seem to be always looking for lust or romance, friendship is also vitally important to being human and should never be dismissed or cast off or seen as an insult. After all, the ideal is that someone who can be capable of being a friend is also capable of more; those who aren't usually set off warning bells. Regardless of gender or orientation, people are people, and being able to be friends with them and be friends to them is one of the most important things in life.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Olivia Munn and The Th... · 0 replies · +28 points

I haven't ever encountered a woman like that in my "geek circles" or know anyone who has. The women who have been involved were, "shockingly", interested in the geek thing themselves. And even the ones who were, say, the current girlfriends of some of my friends whose interest was less than their beau usually increased that interest with more time hanging around, or revealed more interest once it became obvious that we weren't shaming or mocking anyone.

I used to run live action tabletop RPG sessions in high school (with games I made myself) and I certainly wouldn't have minded having more girls involved. I was a lonely dude and that stuff wasn't as mainstream as it is now (the late 90's). And quite a few of my friends had far less interest in comics than I did, and I never considered them less worthy or geeky. I'd have been thrilled to have more girls involved in my hobby back then.

People who turn out to be poor players for an RPG troupe are not of one gender or another. I've known quite a few "bad players" both online and in tabletop who were men. I had to kick quite a few out for disruptions or just for being jerks who would almost literally challenge someone to a fight over a few dice rolls that went poorly.

There are no "fake geeks". There are only geeks of different levels and investment who may increase or decrease it depending on access and how they're treated. It says a lot when it seems mainstream sports are more welcoming to women than a lot of "hardcore geeks" who consider themselves superior.

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Olivia Munn and The Th... · 0 replies · +3 points

I don't have Netflix but I bought the entire series on DVD last year. I did my part too!

6 years ago @ Paging Dr. NerdLove - Olivia Munn and The Th... · 2 replies · +5 points

I agree that model is outdated. It just isn't as simple as saying "Young Justice was canceled because too many girls liked it". At least that isn't what Greg Weisman claimed as the reason, and I've gone with his explanation. But you're right, the marketing campaign was aimed at boys (or rather, a model aimed at boys which worked in 1982 and is mindlessly imitated over and over and over regardless of changes in the market since) and there was no attempt to adapt that strategy while the show was on the air. There's a push to resurrect the show on Netflix currently.