On Finding New Geek Stuff

Sometimes, even I can get tired of my same old obsessions. Usually that just means it's time to dig into an old reliable source of inspiration or switch movie genres for a while. I might go from 80's movies to black and white classics, I might take a break from serious memoirs and get on a biography kick and go totally nuts at the library.

But as I'm getting older, I find that familiar movie and book routines grow stagnant. I need new content, new material and like I mentioned before, new inspirations. So new discoveries are always welcome ones and let's face it, the world is full of plenty of books and movies. 

I can't explain why I need such an intake of material. I think maybe it's because when you do something creative for a living, you just have to refuel your tank or you lose the passion for what you do. You would think it would be the opposite, that doing something creative for a living would fill that void. But it doesn't for me. It just means I need to consume more. But with the limited schedule, I have to consume wisely, because my time is precious.

So I was really happy to make two new (to me) discoveries lately...

1. Battlestar Gallactica - People have been telling me for years that I should watch "Battlestar Gallactica". Maybe it's because that's pretty much the only space-themed series I hadn't watched yet, but part of me felt like I shouldn't watch it just to keep myself from going completely over the edge into "unredeemable nerd" territory. Plus, I was afraid it might make me hate Jim Halpert on "The Office" if I suddenly sympathized with Dwight's deep connection to the TV show.

Then I realized it was far too late for that because A. I entered unredeemable nerd territory the day I got a Star Trek tattoo. and B. I already sympathize with Dwight. We have far too much in common. Except for that whole beet farming thing.

So I finally gave in and started watching the series. And WHOA. No wonder people have been recommending it for so long. It's such a tense show. I love the casting, the almost tribal score and of course...you can't go wrong with the venerable Edward James Olmos. (I don't know why I just referred to him as though he were a judge. It just felt right.) I'm only on episode 5 and I'm going slower than I usually do when I latch onto a new TV series, but work has picked up for me lately. But I actually find myself pouting in the middle of the day thinking about how I wish I could be watching an episode.

UPDATE! Apparently this happens to a lot of people...I give you Portlandia FTW. This is EXACTLY how addictive this show is.

The writing is really what's incredible. Brave choices. Nobody is safe. Quick pacing. It's just...good, good stuff. 

And also....

2. Jonathan Coulton - This is another Pandora-inspired discovery. I've been driving more often lately and I can't stand the radio. So I always listen to Pandora when I'm in the car. I have a couple of stations that are crafted to sheer perfection. My Flight of the Conchords station plays plenty from them, Weird Al, Tenacious D, Dr. Horrible, Monty Python and every once in a while it would try to throw Jonathan Coulton into the rotation and I would be like, "What nonsense is this? I don't know this man...take it away Jeeves."

I'm kind of strict with my Pandora. If my Labyrinth station plays anything other than music from Labyrinth (And it's forever trying to play me "Axel F".) I immediately hit the dislike button. And yes, I have "normal" stations too. Fats Domino, John Williams, Annie Lennox, U2. But the station I seem to listen to the most is the Flight of the Conchords, and Pandora got bossy with me one day. It kept playing Jonathan Coulton, even songs I had previously disliked. It was like, "No really, I want you to give this a try I REALLY think you'll like it." And it turns out, Pandora was right. I think it may be the early signs of worldwide robot domination, but hey, at least we'll all have good tunes to listen to when it goes down.

Jonathan Coulton has a great voice. If he wasn't funny, I think I'd listen to his music anyway. He's got a very Ben Folds Five thing going on vocally-speaking and I dig it.

So what do you do when you need to hit the refresh button on your geekdom, your inspiration or your love of books and movies? How do you find new stuff?