Fifty Things That Cause Me to Geek Out
This is exactly what you think it is: A list of 50 things that tickle my geek reflex. The scary part is that I could probably make 50 more lists like this one, all of them filled with pop culture hits such as these …
01. Jenny Agutter’s stylish show of skin in “Logan’s Run.”
02. Archie McPhee’s impeccably creepy horse head mask.
03. Taking pictures of colorful drunks.
04. The chorus of Röyksopp’s “The Girl and The Robot.”
05. My Android phone, the HTC Evo.
06. This past season of “The Venture Bros.” It’s been amazing.
07. That bit in “Ong-Bak” where Tony Jaa throws some jerk out a second-story window, then jumps out the window after him to knee him in the chest one more time.
08. The dialogue at the beginning of the Dead Milkmen’s “Bitchin’ Camaro” (though I bristle a tiny bit at the pointless AIDS joke).
09. The Sid Vicious slot machines that used to be at the Hard Rock in Vegas. He would have hated them.
10. Owen Wilson’s schtick in “Zoolander”: “Listen to your friend Billy Zane. He’s a cool dude.”
11. The immortal voice of Paul Frees.
12. Warren Ellis and Gianluca Pagliarani’s “Ignition City” comic. It’s “Buck Rogers” swallowed by “Deadwood,” and it’s better than any movie I saw this summer.
14. My “Tron: Legacy” ENCOM badge, won by playing this online game.
15. Making themed mixes for my friends’ iPods.
16. These here Bad Buttons.
17. Heist movies. Yes, even the “Ocean’s Eleven” movies.
18. Light rail. It’s the future.
19. Velcro. It’s the future, too.
20. “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus” by The Firesign Theatre. In fact, I geek out for pretty much anything World’s Fair-related.
21. The classic Super Nintendo game “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” I actually have a sentimental longing for it, as if it were a place I once visited.
22. Big, modernist airport terminals. They almost compensate for the fact that I’ve come to despise flying.
23. Pre-1975 issues of Playboy. For the articles.
24. My friend Moss’ Las Vegas tiki bar, Frankie’s Tiki Room.
25. The Japanese candy aisle at Uwajimaya.
26. Old ViewMaster reels.
27. The “chase scene” at the end of Alfred Bester’s “The Stars My Destination”: Gully Foyle jaunting around the world, giving PyrE to the people.
28. Anthony Anderson in “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”: “C’mon, Pookie, let’s burn this motherf—er down!”
29. Typewriters old and new. Mostly old.
30. The 8-bit lunacy that is Sabrepulse.
31. Rem Koolhaas’ Seattle Central Library.
32. The Homestar Runner patch on my old Dickies jacket: “Raised by a Cup of Coffee.”
33. John Barry’s 1960s soundtracks, from 007 to “The Knack” to “The Persuaders.”
34. Defunct Disneyland attraction: “Adventure Thru Inner Space.” And I’m not just saying that because this psychedelic dark ride enabled me to get to second base.
35. The Kano sisters in Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.”
36. Finding “Dark Tower” and “Laser Attack,” two of my favorite childhood board games, on eBay. But I don’t geek out enough to actually buy them.
37. The great Don Cornelius’ performance in “Tapeheads”: “Let’s get INTO trouble, baby.” (EDIT: For some reason, Mr. Cornelius, I thought you’d caught the Soul Train outta here: An early version of this piece has the word “late” before “great.” My apologies.)
38. Seattle’s one-stop emporium for all that is good and worthy, Damaged Goods.
39. Burlesque. I have my reasons.
40. Graham Linehan’s funny British sitcom “The IT Crowd.” Word by the water cooler is that they’re going to make another attempt at creating an American version of the show. Sigh.
41. Patton Oswalt’s hilarious, and very NSFW, rant on the movies of Jason Statham.
42. Seeing good fonts used well. This rarely happens.
43. United States history told in narrative: Jay Winik’s “The Great Upheaval,” David McCullough’s “1776,” Sarah Vowell’s “Assassination Vacation” and others.
44. Orson Welles’ bit at the end of the Mercury Theatre’s “Dracula”: “Just remember, ladies and gentlemen… There are vampires. There are … werewolves. These things … do exist.”
45. Roadside attractions. There’s not nearly enough plaster dinosaurs and Muffler Men in the world.
46. Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” miniseries. It breaks my heart that we’ll never see that earnest, inquisitive tone in educational television ever again.
47. Sin In Linen’s pinup bedsheets.
48. Seeing Jon Stewart crack up at something — Stephen Colbert’s antics, usually.
49. Creating custom Gelaskins.
50. Pretty much any museum you can name. Museums are altogether f—ing sexy. They’re gonna be the nightclubs of the next century.
How about you, geek?