I’ve been outed as a nerd. To my coworkers, to my neighbors, and to the people I go to church with. I make no secret of my nerd inclinations, but it’s not necessarily a part of my life that I share with everyone. Not out of shame, of course; just because I know my interests aren’t shared with everyone that I know.Joshua Norton and Me

This “outing” happened a couple of weeks ago. My neighbors came up to me and said, “Hey, Richard! I saw you in the paper!” The next day, a co-worker said the same thing. And at church the following Sunday, yet another person came up and told me that they’d seen my picture in the paper.

These comments took me by surprise; to my knowledge my photograph hadn’t been in the paper at all. I mean, I knew that I’d been interviewed for this article in the Sacramento Bee about “Doppelganger Week” on Facebook — “Doppelganger Week”, for those who don’t keep up with Facebook memes (doesn’t everyone?) was a week or so when people replaced their Facebook profile picture with the picture of a celebrity that they were told they resembled– and I’d sent the reporter a photograph of myself and Emperor Joshua Norton (whom I’ve been told I look like and so whom I’d chosen as my doppelganger). But the online version of the article hadn’t run my picture, so I figured the print version hadn’t either. I don’t read the print edition of the newspaper, and I’d just assumed that no one else does either.

Turns out several people do, though, and in the print edition of that day’s Bee, my photograph ran alongside the photograph of Emperor Norton that I’d sent in. A high school classmate posted a photograph of the print version to Facebook, and it’s reproduced here. So yeah, people saw my photograph in the Bee, and they kept telling me about it. And I was definitely outed as a nerd. A Facebook-using, historical-figure impersonating nerd.

I’m okay with that.

At least they still don’t know about the robot penguin on my desk.

In Other News…

Writing: The writing continues. Right now I’m editing one of my Stories of the Week in preparation for sending it out to the markets. I’m also working on a new novel, Brought to Life, which so far isn’t going very well. And, of course, Code Monkey!, my NaNoWriMo 2009 novel, is still available online in case you’d like to read it. If you do choose to read it — and bear in mind that the version online is the unedited, un-revised version — I hope you enjoy it.

Work: Work continues to be challenging and enjoyable. I recently characterized my job as “slapping bandages on broken code”, to which my boss responded that it was more like performing major surgery on broken code. In some ways, though, I feel like Dr. Frankenstein, especially one product that I’ve been hacking and eviscerating so heavily that what we use now barely resembles the pre-existing version at all. It’s a good job, pleasantly secure, and I fully intend to leave it boots first.

This website: At some point, I’ll be moving to a new domain: http://www.underpope.com. Right now, the only thing that the new domain does is redirect back to my current domain. It’s all about growing the brand, you see. I’m “underpope” in just about every online forum I participate in, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and so on, so I figured I may as well have the domain too. I’m going to take the opportunity to do a major redesign of my site, I think, so if anyone has any suggestions I’m open to them.

This blog: And while I’m at it, I’ll mention that this month marks the tenth anniversary of my blog. My very first entry was March 20, 2000. I’ll try to remember to post something of interest on that day.

And So On…

As Kurt Vonnegut wrote, and so it goes. Thank you and good day.

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