Monday, October 3, 2016

Being a Dork is Cool

October is probably the dorkiest month of the year. It's the month when you can not-so-secretly get excited to wear a costume, even if you are grown ass adult, and to ironically/not-ironically pumpkin spice everything in your life. I don't do either of those, dress up or eat crap, but I have of late really embraced what many could classify as a dorky lifestyle and you know what? I love it.

The idea of the nerd/dork has been in vogue for sometime. Bill Gates and his crew dancing on the Microsoft stage is so cringe that it is adorable and there is an almost ridiculous amount of TV shows, and movies ranging from good, like Stranger Things to the very bad like Big Bang Theory, which centralizes on the dork as their protagonist(s). This is a bit of an annoying formula and all too transparent at times but it is nonetheless trending and will continue to trend because dorks tend to run things and make money and that’s what really matters.

I must admit that I am actually not a card carrying member of the dork world, I’m too assertive and nihilistic to ever really fit the bill but I must confess that in the past few weeks/months I have totally surrendered to impulses and interests that are certifiably uncool/aka so cool because they are uncool aka very dorky. I have been wondering what’s up with this new lifestyle diversion and I think that its perhaps my age and it resulting in me actually not giving a fudge about being/being perceived/wanting to do anything besides exactly what I want to do.

What I have also learned about this new “dork” lifestyle embrace is that it is private and slow and has a nurturing quality that is accumulative. There is a real emphasis in practice, focused exploration, a constancy of pursuing that requires a form of investment that has little to no reward besides that which is measured by yourself and perhaps a small circle that is also invested in that activity.

Also, this type of lifestyle is maybe a remedy for the structuring capitalist system that we live in which we are valued and measured by such absurd metrics and constructed exchanges. The possession of one’s interest nay hobbies and that of their time, labor and intellectual/physical energy is subversive in its novelty, self-satisfaction and essential uselessness.

These are all formative thoughts based on my early dabbling and openness to a type of character and activities that may be deemed as dorky but regardless of the labeling, I am finding them incredibly fun, rewarding and interesting. That alone is explanation enough for me.  

Below is a quick run-up of some of these alleged dorky activities. If you are thinking about shaking up your life I would recommend you finding a “dorky” activity to take up versus buying something new or travelling to somewhere colonized. All that is so normal and who can bare being that these days.

Ikebana – This is a form of Japanese flower arranging that started in Japan by Buddhist monks and became popularized in the 10th century. There are many different schools. These schools matter and are distinguished because you have to learn from a master of whichever school you study and basically spend hours and hours placing flowers and leaves in formulaic yet interpretive construction. I am studying Ikenobo, which is one of oldest schools. I’m taking a course at the Nippon Society. It is fun, rigorous, sort of expensive and I am very bad at it but I want to get at least non-embarrassingly adept at it.  

Dinner Parties – I love having a large group (over 10) people over for dinner and to cook a lot of food and have people relax and talk and get to know each other. The practice of having dinner parties is weirdly not something that is done by Millennials etc., especially in New York, and I think that’s a travesty. We have very busy lives and most of our social interactions are protracted in social networking or just vegging out. I think there is a real need to have such things as dinner parties to carve out a different type of social interaction and fun. This also lets me make new recipes, which is pretty mental to do for such a large event but heh, I can’t eat a whole cassoulet by myself.

Archery – Just tried archery for the first time after wanting to do it for months. I was nervous but it was fun! I went to Gotham Archery in Gowanus. Living in NYC is amazing because you can literally think of any crazy hobby and you can find someplace/some group of people that are amped about it and want to teach you. I want to get like very good at it. Or at least 50% bulls eye good.  

Reading – Yup I read a lot. I read fantasy, theory, fiction, non-fiction, articles, poetry, everything. I love reading. Period. Forever. What am I currently reading? Dune. Yup. Dune.

Organ Music – Grace Church near Union Square has organ music by Bach every Tues-Fri at 12:30ish for a half hour. It’s a great way to chill out during the workload and to weirdly meditate and imagine how weird the world used to be. I also LOVE choral music. Need to find a few NYC spots for this. Also, if you like chamber music/classical I recommend Trinity Church near Wall Street. They do good, cheap/free musical programming.

Learning French – I want to be able to read French. Tried taking a class but it’s only conversational. I want to READ FRENCH!

Feeding stray cats – I’m that lady. That crazy cat lady!