You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir (Touchstone, 2015)

I recommend it, but do not buy the book. Felicia Day’s autobiography, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir, should not be on your bookshelf. You’d miss out. I’ll explain, but allow me to digress.

You are Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day For those of you who are not nerds… rrrr, I mean… who have not heard of Felicia Day, she is a “situationally famous” celebrity who created one of the first and most influential web series, a spoof of the online gaming world called “The Guild.” She is also the quintessential “gamer girl.”

So in part, this book is like a light-hearted walk down memory lane for computer geeks like me. She had me at Compuserve. Hearing someone reminisce wistfully about Prodigy, Ultima, and other milestones of the early personal computer era made me want to wave my hand in the air shouting “Me too! Me too!” However, as fun as this is, I wouldn’t be recommending this work to my teacher friends if it was just a telling of computer gaming history.

No, the heart of this book is the story of the growth, victories and missteps of a social misfit – a recognizable “gifted kid” – and the important part computer gaming held in her personal development, destruction, and rebuild. As a teacher of overachieving gifted kids, I recognized all of the social anxiety and perfectionist pain she talks about. I see it in my students. And the book explains once and for all why a healthy kid would want to sit for hours playing online games instead of running around outside. My students would so get her, right down to her inner “dick dick” (it’s a thing; look it up <grin>). If it wouldn’t get their parents mad at me (“Prolly too many swears” ~ @feliciaday), I’d love for my grade 6/7 students to hear the lessons she learned (many, the hard way) going from homeschooled outsider to successful actress, writer, and producer. Frankly, I believe it has the potential to save them a lot of grief.

But please hear me. Do not buy this book. Instead, do yourself a huge favour and buy the audiobook. With a paper book, you’d miss so much of the humour, vulnerability and heart wrenching sincerity poured out through the many nuanced voices of Felicia Day herself. (German opera just does not play the same on the written page. <grin>) But if you must get the paper version of the book, buy it at a signing session at a convention or from her on her book tour. It will give you a chance to get an autograph and tell her in person “Thank you. I appreciate your work. And your 4.0 heart.”

Ah, crud. I think I just turned into a #fanboy. 🙂

Would it go to Costa Rica?

Adventures in de-junking. Keeping the memory; disposing of the corporeal.

The Rubble in the Living Room

My name is Greg, and I’m a packrat. A recovering packrat, I’d like to think. Packmouse? And yes I hear all of you laughing in disbelief. I love you anyways.

The start of my recovery was triggered last year. My wife and I spent virtually the entire summer of 2014 moving my mother-in-law from a two story home into a tiny retirement apartment. Packing, sorting, donating, and ultimately throwing away literally tons of items nearly killed us. We came away from that experience with a greater appreciation of the appeal of arson vowing never to inflict that same experience on our kids. While I do not think I could ever be a true minimalist, the merits of “less” finally hit my soul in a real way that summer.

However, downsizing will be hard for me. I relish my role as the “thing borrowing library” for my friends and relatives who are minimalists and don’t have what they need half the time. I am also terribly sentimental (McDonald’s Happy Meal toys can be heirlooms, right?), excited by rediscovery (Oh, look what I just found! I wondered where that went!), and actually very creative about my clutter. So downsizing is truly not in my nature and the task is frankly daunting.

So here is what I plan to do: