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#223 November 22, 2007

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Ramblings.

On Mavens

Yesterday I dropped by the liquor store around the corner to pick up a bottle of wine. I’m not a big drinker, so I must have looked completely out of my element perusing the myriad bottles in the place. Thankfully, the folks who manage the store were not only very friendly but exceedingly knowledgeable about their merchandise, so from my perspective the entire experience was quick and painless.

This got me thinking: a maven is a maven is a maven. It doesn’t matter if said person works at a comic book store, video game retailer or wine shop, if you come across a person truly enthusiastic about something it’s hard not to be drawn in. So I suppose as much as we chide people for being “geeks” or “nerds”, I guess being one is just a matter of how mainstream a niche they’re interested in.

Oh, Snap!

I was out to dinner at one of my favorite haunts in the East Village the other night when a couple (guy and gal) happened to sit beside me (bench seating, you see).

While they began to go over the menu , the guy’s celphone rang, which he answered with what appeared to be a certain amount of guilt. After picking up the call with an emphatic “Oh, hi dear!” accompanied by a quick glance to his female companion, and following several dissembling protestations of “I tried calling you!” and “I left a message!” one couldn’t help but get the sense that this guy was in hot water.

By this time I was already quite amused, and interested to see how he’d get out of this one.

Then the guy says into the phone: “…I’m out with my sister. Why don’t you come by and join us?”

And just like that, the evening’s entertainment turned out to be far less interesting than it actually was.


I spent the better part of October tied to my books preparing for one exam after another. The most important of these was a comprehensive exam required for the degree I’m currently working on, and despite sitting for it nearly a month ago I hadn’t received the results yet.

Now I’ve been known to exhibit obsessive behavior while studying (I seem to recall having a calculator by my bedside throughout that month), but I thought the worst of it was already behind me. That is, until I had a bad dream the other evening, in which I was arguing with a professor grading the exam that my answer to a critical question was in fact correct despite his insistence to the contrary.

Yes, folks: these are the nightmares that nerds have. Well, this one, anyway.

I’m not usually a believer in omens and the like but I have to say this bothered me, more because the results have been a tad delayed (which just feeds the paranoia). Fortunately, the results came in the mail the other day in my favor, so now I can breathe a sigh of relief.

And right before Thanksgiving, too. Great timing, that.

In Other News…

There’s less than a month to go before I fly home for the holidays. I’m sorely tempted to begin packing.



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