Confess your embarrassingly nerdy obsessions here

Mastermind chairWatching Mastermind this week, I realised that basically all of my options for specialist subjects relate to pointless things I’m sad and obsessive about and none involve classical music, politics, literature or anything important.

My plan now is to feel better about myself by a) confessing my sins and b) encouraging the rest of you to tell me how much geekier than me you are in the comments.

I would like to confess the following embarrassing obsessions:

  • Marvel Comics

A large part of my parents’ garage is devoted to my superhero comic collection. It will remain there until it dissolves into mulch as I have no room for it and I refuse to throw it away. I can tell you anything about Marvel characters. It’s dreadful. I could be using the part of my brain that contains the secret identities of all the Avengers for information about the French Revolution or how to change a fuse or something.

  • Mythology

Probably the least pointless thing I know sizable amounts about, but even so, sitting on the Tube reading large books marked Russian Folklore isn’t cool (what I learned: if you encounter a hut with the legs of a chicken, avoid it). If you have ever been at a dinner party with people you don’t really know, and found yourself trying to explain that the Norse believed that the giants’ main weapon against the gods come Ragnarok was a ship made of dead men’s finger- and toe-nails, you will understand what I mean.

Social death and prolonged silence will be the only things that come of it.

  • Championship/Football Manager

Look, I’m not proud. After ten years of this game, I may now be up to proper, literal months of my life spent playing it. If you’re not familiar with it, you manage one of hundreds of football teams, with the aid of reams of statistics and tactical information on thousands of real-life footballers in leagues across the world. If you like football, it’s essentially crack.

Purists were unhappy when recent versions of the game included some animation of the football matches, rather than just lines of text reporting on the outcome. My friends and I have actual anecdotes that we tell each other in the pub of things that have happened to us in the game.

No, seriously. Now make me feel better. What stupid things are you a total loser about?

Hey there, dork

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  1. says


    You write for “the first gadgets site written by women for women” – you surely have one more confession?

    My 1st confession should be for reading “the first gadgets site written by women for women” ;O)

    Other than that, I guess my main obsessions would be:

    1) Sonos – Simply the best gadget I have ever purchased. I never stop trying to sell it to friends, family and any other random that comes along. I even did a fan video on youtube

    2) My BBQ – Or more accurately, my Weber gas grill. I cook on this thing several times a week, every week of the year. I cook at New Year’s Eve parties, in the rain and I’m well know (laughed at) for even cooking in many inches of snow wearing my pyjamas –

    3) I develop obsessions on forums/blogs and end up commenting far too much. It doesn’t usually last long, then I move onto the next one. You can guess which one is in favour this week.

    Nice thread!

  2. Fiona says

    A large (and ever-growing) part of my house is devoted to my Marvel comic collection. It’s a bit of an obsession. It would be excusable if I were a teenage boy, but I’m a grown woman in her 30s!

  3. says

    I was a massive mythology geek for a long time too. I used to have a big family tree of the Greek gods and knew all their Roman names etc. I probably still do actually. It’s my only successful University Challenge subject.

    I went off it when I did a module in it at University and had to read Appollodorus’s Library of Greek Mythology, which is like reading the phone book.

    • Charles says

      To be fair, I’m less encyclopedic than I used to be. But I did just read The Golden Bough. And when I was at uni, did write and direct a whole play at the Edinburgh Fringe about comparative mythology. So I think I get to keep the mythology nerd credentials, even though I now miss the odd UC question…

  4. says

    Probably the nerdiest I get is when it comes to how much of a stickler I am for authenticity when it comes to period costume. And the fact I love fancy dress so much as a result. My obsession with clothing from the first half of the 20th century means I get very annoyed when people get their eras wrong (bikinis in Pearl Harbor – I don’t think so) and I can age photos, films and so on based on the clothing pretty accurately. Because of this there’s also an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion designers in the 20th century too.

    Oh, also the period dramas. I’m ashamedly in love with any Austen, Hardy, Bronte etc adaptation that comes along. Even if I’ve not read the book (though I’ve tried to work my way through all of them). That said, I think I just put my hand up for half the female population with that one so it probably still doesn’t count.

  5. says

    Ummm, I am obsessive about Austen, in particular Pride and Prejudice, but all of it really. I love the social satire, but it goes deeper than that for me – like Gemma’s obsession over costume, I get furious when modern day adaptations use language or sentence structure that they just would not have used in the late 18th or early 19th century. I get really aggressive towards the tv when I spot an out of place adverb!

    Also, I have a hangover obsession with Buffy that’s blatantly never going away. And I became horribly obsessed the the recent 4 series of Doctor Who – to the point that I would rewatch episodes several time to spot any Bad Wolf references I had missed… and I watched the Agatha Christie episode, The Unicorn and the Wasp, on iplayer with a full list of her lifetime works opened on my laptop and ticked them off as the script referenced them.

    Maybe I should have kept that last part to myself? :S

      • Charles says

        My girlfriend says Felicia Day is a marketing concept to appeal to very sad men, not a real person. She’s just trying to upset me, right? Right?

        • says

          I *hope* your girlfriend is just trying to upset you… Because I have a major girl crush on her, and if she’s a concept or fabrication that makes me very gullible! :S

        • says

          I have been googling Codex costumes for weeks, and have finally settled on a great tutorial vid – now just need somewhere to wear it to justify making it! It may well rival the Clobberella costume I made for a heroes and villains party a couple of years back!

    • says

      I find that I get horribly, nerdishly obsessed with something for a while, and over-indulge in it to the point that, a few years later, I can’t bring myself to ever go near it again. This has happened, over the years, to:
      – Friends
      – Buffy
      – The music of Weird Al Yankovic
      – Scrubs
      To name just a few. It can’t be healthy.

  6. says

    I have a slight obsession with desktop customisation…Even have a blog devoted to it (sadly). I know every pixel of my ‘puter inside and out, and how to change every button, window border, fade effect and keybinding. I do it endlessly at home on my Linux box, and even at work on my locked-down WinXP computer, I customise absolutely ANYTHING I can, to the extreme annoyance of my IT department…

    But I justify it by insisting that I am “enhancing my ambient productivity” :)

  7. says

    i've started playing this game runescape…i swore to NEVER play any type of mythical rpg but my boyfriend played it and i decided to try's just so addicting now

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