Previous: John and Rainn Wilson Talk Romance
Next: Open Letter to the Wizards



View count:343,311
Last sync:2024-05-31 17:00


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "To Be Anything At All: Thoughts from Places, Chicago and LeakyCon 2012." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 14 August 2012,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2012)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2012, August 14). To Be Anything At All: Thoughts from Places, Chicago and LeakyCon 2012 [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2012)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "To Be Anything At All: Thoughts from Places, Chicago and LeakyCon 2012.", August 14, 2012, YouTube, 03:26,
In which John discusses the surprises and pleasures of being anything at all while attending the Harry Potter conference LeakyCon and walking around downtown Chicago. Also, I read from some humiliating high school fiction.

Brazilian nerdfighters:

Swordfighting footage:
Hank's LeakyCon Performance:
Buddy Tegenbosch:


Shirts and Stuff:
Hank's Music:
John's Books:


Hank's Twitter:
Hank's Facebook:
Hank's tumblr:

John's Twitter:
John's Facebook:
John's tumblr:


Other Channels
Crash Course:
Hank's Channel:
Truth or Fail:



A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')


Good Morning Hank, it's Tuesday. This is a Brazilian soccer jersey signed by Pelé. He wrote DFTBA on it. It was given to me by some Brazilian nerdfighters at LeakyCon who also gave me this book , which hundreds of them read and annotated.


By the way, this sideways girl is really pretty, but speaking of LeakyCon,

I woke up Saturday at 8am to one of the best views in America's best cities, Chicago. I thew on a Hunger Games t-shirt, brushed my teeth,

"What's up with this guy? He's a trouble maker"

Then walked downstairs to start my 2012 LeakyCon.
I chatted with Lev Grossman in front of a lot of people and then managed to destroy my phone by dropping it from a height of approximately 8 inches, as shown in this dramatic enactment.

"…and I picked it up and it was totally shattered."

Then I went to a massive nerdfighter gathering where you and I discussed the edgelessness of the universe and books belonging to their readers, and then there was a sword fight from which I, of course, emerged victorious.

And then I signed for several hours with you and Lauren and Matt and other people less well because this isn't my good camera.

Then Valerie and I took the stuff back to the DFTBA booth and I signed posters for a few hours. I like signing my name. Not to brag, but I've gotten really good at it. So this was pretty fun.

Then I hung out with author friends while Maureen Johnson stared at me in that distinctly Maureen Johnsony way of hers and then I attended a panel called "I was a teenage author" in which I had to read a story I wrote for my high school literary journal.

Here I am talking about an injured firefly:

"I had no idea what to do. It couldn't be shot, as you would a dying horse. Or given CPR as you would a dying human."

Really? I couldn't imagine a humane way to kill a firefly? WHAT WILL WE DO WITHOUT A GUN?

After that, I was feeling good and embarrassed, plus I was feeling overwhelmed with people and I needed a new phone, so I decided to walk to the Apple store, but first I walked across the street to Grant Part, the scene of my first wizard Wrock concert, back on 8/8/08…
Back when YouTube was pixelated.

Hank, that was the first day I discovered that people other than me knew the words to your songs and it was also when I began to understand how awesome nerdfighters and Harry Potter fans are IRL. Although, I could have never have imagined that one day your shows would look like this.

Then I walked north past segwaying tourists and the line for the art institute and it's famous lions, past a wish to be ordinary and kids playing beneath a tower of faces, across the Chicago river, past a café that seemed to wilfully ignore the fact that René Descartes died before coffee was introduced to France, through the glut of tourists, to the Apple store.

Walking back with my new phone, I remembered I forgotten to visit the Bean, where the first huge nerdfighter gathering on 8/8/08 at 8:08 pm, when Amy Krouse Rosenthal began The Beckoning of Lovely.

I love this sculpture. The way it reflects and distorts ourselves and our world back to us, while also providing a good perch for seagulls, and I was thinking about the four years and four days between then and now, feeling, as Neutral Milk Hotel once put it:

"How strange it is to be anything at all"

When suddenly… "I am actually".

A dutch nerdfighter and author named Buddy approached me. He was visiting the bean because part of a book he liked Will Grayson, Will Grayson, takes place there. And then he stumbled across the coauthor of that book.

He gave me a copy of his own book, we exchanged DFTBA's and the went our separate ways.

How improbable is that, Hank? How improbable are we?
How strange, and how lovely it is to be anything at all.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.

"Actually wave, wave at the Bean… That's awesome."