There’s No Such Thing as A Malicious Nerd

In December 2012, I was able to achieve a dream I’d held since I was a kid. I went to see Distant Worlds for the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy. A Facebook group was made for the event and I happily chatted with people who shared my thrill for the series. One person decided to hold a pre-party at his apartment, located a 15 minute drive away from the theater. I was more than happy to go since I didn’t have many local friends who enjoyed the series.

I may have fangirled a little bit. Whenever I mention Final Fantasy and someone happens to know what I’m talking about, I get really excited. How many of the games have they played? What’s their favorite? Can we be besties???? (I swear I never say these things out loud. I don’t want to scare them away.)

My only problem was parking. The lot wasn’t very big and I didn’t want to have to mess with additional transportation. Going anywhere was going to be a problem. A 15 minute drive would be a very long walk.

Without a second thought, I went to the event page on Facebook and asked the strangers if anyone going to the event would give me and my friends a ride. As a result, many other people also asked for rides. That wasn’t very helpful.

Then a man, who I am going to call J, responded to me. He told me he was flying in from Florida for the performance and staying at the hotel across from the theater. Along with his room, he got a free parking spot for a car he wouldn’t have there.

You see where I’m going with this: I can hear the victory theme!

_

I explained to J that I had two other people coming with me and only one free spot in the car. If he was willing to give me his parking spot, I was more than happy to drive him to the party.

While I didn’t think so at the time, it’s important to note that the only human beings who knew my plans to pick up J (aka, a Final Fantasy fan I met online a day before) and go to the party (at another fan-who-I-had-just-met-online’s apartment with a bunch of other strangers from around the country and world).

No creepers here! (Image taken by a friend and posted to Facebook)

I’ve never met a malicious Final Fantasy fan in my life. Next you’re going to tell me that anime/manga fans are all secretly serial killers, too. They are just kind people, interested in art, music and culture (with a special love for Japanese culture).

The day went just as planned, with the exception of J’s plane. It got in a little later than expected, which met we missed the first part of the pre-party. Everyone was meeting at a Japanese restaurant before going to the apartment. By the time J arrived, they had all left. It wasn’t a huge hurdle. My friends, J and I just went to the restaurant on our own.

I met J outside the hotel. The only parking available to non-hotel patrons was a good walk away. One of my friends stayed with my car and the other came with me to meet him. As we walked back to my car, we talked about Final Fantasy and discovered we had common interests in books and movies. It was probably the nerdiest 5 minutes of my life up to that point (the nerdiest point in my life was the concert itself).

We ate and then went to the other guy’s apartment. I have never had so much fun in my life. There were debates about favorite Final Fantasy titles, discussions about character development, and, of course, music.

Soon, it was time to go to the concert. I screamed like the craziest 12-year-old Biber fan who just heard they got back stage passes when Nobuo Uematsu came out to hold a special per-performance in the lobby. It was magical.

Did you just get chills?

I won’t bore you with the nerdy details. The only thing that would have made the night better is if I could have gotten a hug from Uematsu-san or just touched him. I don’t obsess over very many celebrities. There are only two people I can’t help but squeal for. Uemastu-san is one and Richelle Mead is the other. A composer and an author: just the kind of people every 20-something looks up to.

We love Nobuo Uematsu!! (Image from Distant Worlds’ Facebook Page)

Back to the story, after the concert, we were all on a nerdy high. A bunch of us from the pre-party decided to kick it at a local bar. When that was done, I drove myself and my friends back to my apartment safe and sound.

The funniest part of this story is D’s reaction when I told him a week or so later that I had picked up a stranger and drove him to another stranger’s apartment filled with more strangers. I think his eyes glazed over a bit with images of me being kidnapped, raped or killed.

In my opinion, someone looking to do any of those things probably wouldn’t choose to meet me in a public spot or even agree to tag along without knowing the gender and age of the other passengers. The guy didn’t even know what kind of car I drove. I suppose there is still a chance he could have been a mad man with a gun and death wish, but I’ve probably already walked past that guy at the mall a few times.

Now, I want your opinions. Do you think this plan was unwise? Would you pick up a stranger to get a good parking spot for the concert of your dreams? You’re opinion might save my life because, as of writing this, I’d have no problem doing it all over again. 

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18 thoughts on “There’s No Such Thing as A Malicious Nerd”

  1. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad idea. I’m terrible at these things. I trust everyone and my husband trusts no one, so I am often confused.

    One time, however, I offered to pick someone up at the airport who was flying in for a blogging conference and she licked my face. So there’s that.

    It sounds like you had an awesome time….that is very cool. 🙂

    1. That sounds like myself and my boyfriend. I tend to trust until you prove you can’t be trusted and he tends to not trust anyone ever.

      Lincking your face isn’t so bad. Were they just goofing off. I participated in extracurricular speech in high school and there were some unique people there. One of my friends had her faced licked by one kid. A harmless action, really. Unless they have the cold… then that person is cruel.

  2. TK, until the word ‘concert’ appeared in your post I couldn’t figure out what the hell you were going to; a movie, a game night where a bunch of people play the final fantasy thing-a-mah-whats-it….I’m SO video game illiterate…so then when you mentioned the word ‘concert’ I’m like, “huh?” a concert for a video game?

    okay…enough with my out-of-touchness (I apologize I’m soooo behind the times) I LOVE what you did. Dude, I went to so many parties (not like ‘let’s snort coke parties) back in the day, and whenever groups of us decided to go from one place to the next, strangers always ended up in each other’s cars. Sometimes I road with people I didn’t know, other times people road with me that I didn’t know……in one of the instances I hitched a ride with someone I hardly knew at all (I had met him and his girlfriend for like a minute a few months back but didn’t even know their names) so anyways I hitched a ride with him and along the way to the next party he’s says to me, ‘wanna see something cool?’ and he gun’s his ford f-150 at just the right moment when we are approaching this incline and we literally flew over the train tracks…he got all four wheels off the ground! lmao……I was like “who the fuck is this crazy bastard????’ and ya know what….19 years later…he’s one of my closest friends (and he married the girl that was with us at the time and they’ve been together all these years)

    anyways…I love random experiences like the one you shared….(sorry for the rambling comment…my mind is on overload at the moment cuz of a bunch of shit that has gone on today)

    1. I hate to sound… proud, but Final Fantasy is unique in that it has a huge fan base centered around it’s music. It’s the same for the games artwork. Type Nobuo Uemastu into youtube or Yoshitaka Amano in Google Images and you will see. I wrote a post not too long ago about the music of Final Fantasy games I haven’t even played. Whether or not I’ve played them dosen’t seem to matter at this point. The music is just fantastic.

      While they have done concerts like Video Games Live that have melodies from many different games, nothing really meets what Final Fantasy has.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to hang out with these people a whole lot since the concert, but I’m hoping to change that. How interested would you be in a blog about an anime convention? (because there’s just not a limit to how nerdy I can get ^_^)

      1. “How interested would you be in a blog about an anime convention?”

        well, I tried reading that article you wrote about some kind of manga or anime book and I failed miserably at reading it…..sailor moon what’s her name…..its just really hard for me to connect to stuff like that…..now there are some things that when I’ve read about it; it actually got me into watching the show or reading the book..but its very rare.

        okay, I’m gonna probably lose all cred with you when I tell ya this;
        I had NEVER watched an episode of the bachelor, or bachelorette, or any of those but one day for some bizzare reason that I still don’t understand I somehow came across an article about bachelor pad and it was such a well written article and it totally drew me in so what do you think I did the next week… I watched ABC’s ‘Bachelor Pad’….AND….(oh no please don’t laugh) I enjoyed it……(first time I’ve ever admitted this on the Internet) and now I’m positively hooked to bachelor pad and the bachelorette (I tried the bachelor but didn’t like it)……….so if you think your a nerd….what does that make me…like the BIGGEST nerd in the world probably…..in fact I probably make you look really cool lmao

        1. IDK, watching reality TV is kind of mainstream (said Hipster TK).

          Also, you’re inability to get into my manga reviews is probably due to my inability to write them well. What better way to practice than to write. That, and Sailor Moon is geared toward a younger audience. I’m mostly reading it out of nostalgic curiosity. That, and I’m pissed off that then censored Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s lesbian relationship in the American version and labeled them as cousins. Please. I think I was old enough to know what a lesbian was by 14.

          If you wanted some more mature stuff, you’d look into Full Metal Alchemist of or Goast in a Shell. They’re the kind of show you have to start from the beginning or it won’t make sense. The first deals with kids who try to bring their mother back to life, fail miserably, and destroy their bodies in the process. The whole story is about them trying to find a way to undo their wrongs. Ghost in a Shell is set in the future where you have to be an expert to tell the difference between human and android. People can even copy their memory into a computer and upload it into an android, theoretically living forever. But does that process transport their soul (hence the name)? I’ve only seen the first season where they were trying to track down a serial killer who was hacking people’s eyes (because the average person replaced their eyes with robot eyes. Imagine Google Glass but as an implant). He would hack the system so no one could see him. Except the homeless… because they couldn’t afford fancy eyes.

          …and if you’re still with me, I’m just sorry this thing isn’t for everyone. Just ask my grade school bullies ^_^. Luckily, the point of this post wasn’t really about video games or anime. And the music would entertain anyone who has classical interest.

  3. I’m still with you 😉 its just REALLY hard for me to wrap my brain around it……and I don’t know that its a failure on your part to write about it in a way that gets others more into….I think that we are all geared differently…..honestly, I’ve never much been into cartoons of any kind (cept when I was young I liked ducktales 😉 ) ……even ‘adult’ cartoons…the only ones I’ve ever watched religiously were south park….and although I didn’t miss an episode for years….I’ve been into other things lately and haven’t seen south park in nearly two years now……so I dunno….I think its merely a matter of taste. I like heinken but I don’t care for budlight…….. 😉

    1. See, and I’ve always been into cartoons. I was a Saturday Morning Cartoons kind of kid. X-Men. Batman. Spiderman. Saturday mornings were great!

      I could never get into South Park. There were episodes here and there I enjoyed, but it was all a little too vulgar for my taste. The guys that made that show did a good job with Book of Mormon, though.

      1. book of Mormon; VERY good…

        south park ; very vulgar. And I wish they didn’t have to go so over-the-top because it still would have been funny and their points could still be made…..oh well

      2. As I was driving to Starbucks this morning I was thinking about this thread of yours on video games I don’t understand……..cuz I was wondering to myself ‘of all the blogs and writers in the world why have I been regularly reading TK’s who is clearly into things I don’t even understand or comprehend (I.e. manga, anime, final fantasy, etc) and then it hit me; because your a reader. There’s always been a natural inclination in me that (often unconsciously) causes me to gravitate toward readers…….do I understand anime or manga…..no…..but I connect with the experience you have in reading (even if we don’t read all the same things)

        Of the top ten books that changed my list, one of the major ones is by a Jewish sociologist titled “the disappearance of childhood” and the whole book was about books and reading….it explained so much about myself and the way reading is such an integral component of my life……..because for the average person in the u.s. these days; reading is not a part of their life…..most people aren’t big readers anymore. Sure, they read Facebook posts, and shit like that, but obviously that’s a whole different kind of reading

        So (sorry for this somewhat rambling comment) even when I don’t entirely understand a book or genre that someone is into…..I’m still able to connect with the experience of reading because I know how it feels

        1. Fun Fact: Final Fantasy is what originally got me into reading. I used to hate it, but I picked up the 9th game when I was 10 and was blown away. The characters didn’t talk back then and you had to read everything. I wanted to know everything, so when I came across a word I didn’t know, I grabbed the dictionary. For the first year or so, I played those games with a dictionary at my hip until my vocabulary caught up. There were so many elements, history, mythology (Shiva and Laviathan are regulars, for example). Then there was the art and the music. The first I ever heard of the waltz was in one of those games.

          I think readers have a common way of examining the world around them. I once read a quote that said something like ‘truth is stranger than fiction. ‘ Things happen in this world for no rhyme or reason sometimes, but when we read, we expect to see the whole picture by the end. We expect it all to come together or the story becomes ‘unrealistic. ‘

          Reading ingrains in us a way of making sense of the world that is different from those who don’t read. Maybe that makes us write in a way that’s appealing to other readers.

          My goal of 36 books for 2014 is aimed at novels. Hopefully there will be at least 36 weeks of the year where I review something other than manga.

  4. Oh man, you know I am the WORST person to ask this sort of question. I once accepted a ride from a stranger I met on a flight to Guatemala who said his friend Enrique wouldn’t mind dropping me at my hostel. But I’m pretty sure he prevented me from being murdered in the streets of Guatemala City.
    At the same time, I trust no one– I assume most everyone has mal intent and keep my guard up all the freaking time. I’ve just seen and heard way too many things at work… *shudder*
    But then, again! This is totally normal behavior in other countries– they do all sorts of ride sharing where two or more strangers who are going the same way will meet up and take a single car. And that’s pretty damn cool.
    So I have no idea and am completely unhelpful.

    1. I’m sure this story pales compared to the tales you could spin. There wasn’t really a story here outside of having a great time. I’d do it again in a heart beat.

      What’s surprising is that D and his family were all astonished that I was so irresponsible. Everyone else didn’t have a problem.

      And you did help. Whenever people condemn this a similar future acts, I’ll just say it’s all the rage in Europe. ^_^

  5. I met my fiancé on the side of the road and the very next day, I got in his truck alone with him to drive 45 minutes out of town to an abandoned marshland to have a bonfire with twenty other drunk strangers … so, no, I don’t think this was all that dangerous. At least you had nerdiness in common. I tend to think meeting strangers for a fan event is a pretty safe bet as long as other people are aware of your whereabouts. I also rely a lot on instinct and can generally feel people out. If you don’t immediately feel unsafe, chances are you’re good.

    And that whole story sounds fun. I never got into Final Fantasy, but little me loved Kingdom Hearts. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t go out and buy the collection game when it came out for PS3. But fan events are awesome. I still remember all the people I met at the bookstore parties for Harry Potter, and my fellow Whovians. Nothing is better than releasing all the geekiness we keep pent up in our normal lives amongst other people who get it.

    1. So… I may not have told anyone about the pre-party besides the friends I had going with me. Still, I feel like I had a pretty solid plan. I’d do it again in a heart beat. I love nerdy people. I’m even planning on going to my first anime convention this year. I’m all kinds of nervous and excited.

      and I still love Kingdom Hearts. I just bought a PS3 (it’s cheap now that the PS4 is out) and will probably pick up 1.5 and 2.5. I was so mad when they started making handheld Kingdom Hearts games. Of course, my excitement surrounding those games was largely based on my Final Fantasy fandom ^_^

      1. I started replaying them, and it is soooo much harder than I remember. I have to have my computer handy for when I inevitably get stuck in a level. And those bosses…seriously, when did they take so long to kill?

        1. The first Kingdom Hearts had some issues with the battle system, but I think it was the first time Square Enix I had tried something outside of their usual turn based battles. I remember the final boss in the first game being particularly hard, but I like it that way. I get a bigger rush the harder the boss is.

          But then there’s Sephiroth. I have never ever been able to beat him. Good thing he’s optional.

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