Nerds, Ahoy!

Last week, Wil and I went on the annual JoCoCruiseCrazy. This was the fourth cruise put together by Jonathan Coulton, a singer/songwriter/musician of beautifully nerdy songs. It is truly like going to adult nerd camp.

The first year, no one knew what to expect. If you’ve ever been to a Wootstock show that Wil, Paul and Storm, and Adam Savage put on, it’s a lot like that but spread out over each evening of the cruise with some incredibly talented performers. It also has a huge game room and smaller events put on by other performers and even some events put on by other passengers so it’s kind of like a convention too. It has gone over so well that the attendance has grown substantially and there’s already plans for a fifth cruise next year.

I used to say I wasn’t a nerd, that I was just nerd adjacent. I felt like I didn’t have the right to say I was a nerd because there were so many things I either didn’t understand or didn’t participate in myself, so it felt like a for reals “fake geek girl” thing.  And even though I’ve heard him say it hundreds of times to other people, I never really got it until Wil said directly to me “It’s not what you love, it’s how you love it” that made me realize I was a nerd in my own way.

I was so excited to go on this cruise again that I actually packed early. (I know, WHAT.) We were going to see old friends and new, travel to tropical places, and be around a group of fun people who are seriously the most supportive, nonjudgmental group I have ever been around.

The first evening of the cruise started with a concert with Jonathan Coulton and his band. We were seated a few rows up, with a great view of everyone dancing on the floor in front of the stage. I sat there, watching everyone singing and dancing and being silly and my eyes FILLED with tears. Kids can be cruel and I bet there were plenty of people on that dance floor who were teased and taunted for liking the things they liked when they were growing up. Yet here they were, surrounded by people who not only accepted them, but loved and supported them for who they are. My tears were tears of joy at seeing them so happy.

Near the end of the week, I was on the beach talking to a couple of young women who were part of our cruise group. One said she knew about the cruise but wasn’t sure she would like it and kept wavering on whether to go. When Wil and I figured out we could actually make it this year, she said it was my comment on Twitter about how fun it is, even if you aren’t a super nerd, along with a link to booking one of the few rooms left on the cruise that encouraged her to go. She clicked on the link and booked herself on the cruise and was so happy she did because she had the best time, ever.

I totally get that cruises aren’t  for everyone and sometimes the thought of being on a boat with hundreds of people can make a person feel anxious (I struggle with that part a LOT) but I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience this. I may not get all the references and I may not know all the words to all the songs, but just being with a group of people like this is an adventure I will always want to be part of.


17 thoughts on “Nerds, Ahoy!

  1. I would love to go on the cruise and looked into it for this year, but need a quite a bit of time to save up the money to do so.

    I really hope that it continues on so I hope I can make it some day!

    glad you great time!

  2. I used to feel the same way about Comicon. My son and his friends would go to a few each year. I always referred to it as GeekFest. Now I go to Geek Fest and have the best time ever. Welcome Home Anne

  3. We are a family of nerds! In fact my eldest daughter created “The Naugatuck and Beyond Nerd and Bibliophile Herd” with her friends! (Naugatuck is a town in li’l old Connecticut)

  4. Thank you for signing my #vandaleyes CAH card while we were on-board.
    I missed WARM BREAD at dinner last night and Glen Raphael’s impromptu concerts. Counting down the days till JCCC5!

  5. Not only kids can be cruel grownups are a**es too. The only reason I go to comic con every year (by myself) is cause it’s the only place where I can be me and wear all my nerdy tshirts and buy toys without being judged

  6. Sounds awesome! I would love to go on it one of these years. Maybe one of these days the brewery will do well enough for us to be able to afford it.

  7. This was our first year. We really enjoyed ourselves although we felt a bit like outsiders because we we’rent part if the “old gang” but I do understand what you mean about no judgement. We hope more west coasters, like yourselves, will join us next year too!

  8. I hadn’t really paid much attention about the cruise, just knew you guys went on it as well as lots of other geeky people I stalk, er, follow on social media but it sounds pretty awesome from this post. I love conventions (especially if I have a room nearby to recollect myself if anxiety gets to be too much) so this sounds amazing. Maybe someday!

  9. As always, a delight to see you and Wil again. BTW, if the kids can’t make it again next year, you can TOTALLY nag me about wearing sunscreen (I did wear sunscreen, without nagging, of course, because I fear the daystar and what it can do to my pasty white Celtness, but anything to help you feel comfortable on the boat).

  10. “I may not get all the references and I may not know all the words to all the songs…”

    No one does, and that’s OKAY. It’s impossible to know everything, and in my mind, no one loses any “geek cred” (whatever that is) for not knowing every nuance of whatever thing they’re into. Because Wil’s right. It’s not what you love. It’s how you love it.

    Welcome to the flock, Anne. We always knew you’d come around. 🙂

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