"Sometimes you just gotta polka." -Steve Urkel
As a rule, I try not to get too geeky about any particular thing. My feelings about Star Wars rate just North of "meh," I don't think I've ever had the endurance to read an entire comic book, there's no music group for whom I could name more than ten or fifteen songs, and even within the world of art, I frequently encounter someone saying "of course you know about so and so, right?" And of course I haven't the slightest idea. It's not that I think being smart about your interests is lame. I generally hold the opinion that smart is not stupid, but you have to admit, topics like these don't generally get discussed at the cool kid table.
Anyway, trust me, I never sat at the cool kid table. I was more of a "let's go to the beach at lunch and ditch 5th period" kind of a kid. Maybe I skipped too many classes, or perhaps it's a symptom of my mental density, but I don't get all that obsessive about collecting, categorizing, or memorizing obscure trivia about any particular phenomenon. But I do have an unyielding compulsion when it comes to painting, and since I have painted many animals over the years, I have acquired a particular appreciation for the wild animals of this city, and especially those of the aviary variety; so I must admit, I've become a bit of a bird-nerd.
Crows, ravens, robins, herons, jays, owls, hawks, doves, blackbirds, and parrots a plenty, I have been blessed to see so much great wildlife here on our urban peninsula, but today was by far the most spectacular day I have ever had for bird observation. Not only did I observe at length the biggest and most silky black raven I have ever seen, not only did I watch a red tail hawk swoop down and kill a gopher, it's wriggling body squirming in the hawk's talons as it passed just feet over my head before flying off into the distance, but after spending a glorious, sun-drenched day in Golden Gate Park, the best was yet to come. I returned to my studio to get some work in before the day expired. About 5 minutes into my session I heard the sound of some sizable bird landing in the tree just outside my studio window, and so I parted the curtains to investigate. There on the branch was a peregrine falcon, fastest animal in the world (it's speed topping out at 240 mph!!), and here-to-for unknown to me as a resident of San Francisco. What a gorgeous bird!!! It absolutely blew me away, so that when I thought of it this evening, as I lay on my back in the darkness, trying to fall asleep, I had to get out of bed, and write a blog post about it.
So...as it turns out, maybe I do get a little geeky at times. I guess when being near a wild bird feels like being seated next to a celebrity at dinner, you've dipped your spoon in the nerd batter, and there's no shaking it off. But I'm alright with that, since it seems to me that the nerds tend to grow up and take over the world, while the cool kids descend into balding lethargy on the couch. Maybe smart really is smart after all. So three cheers for silly excitements, and an excess of pointless facts. I still don't get the whole Star Wars thing though.