25 things about me.
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. No pressure, you don’t have to do it. But it’s fun and you learn cool stuff about your friends.
1. I have one older brother. He is 11 years older than me. He was a wonderful defacto babysitter because he was leaving his pissy teenage phase right about the time I was entering mine… thus meaning he was always there to go “No, you’re not the smartest person in the world and you’re actually being an insolent little shit because you’re scared and there are lots of things you need to learn and it’s gonna take effort and time and not be easy and you know this because you’re intelligent.” I love him, but at the same time our age gap among some other “life-happens” shit makes our relationship sort of distant and awkward. Thus, I don’t speak of him that often, but I am forever grateful for him and can identify a lot of spots in my life when he helped steer me towards being a better man during my formative years.
2. Of all the cool technological crap in my house, I probably own a 16th of it. Unless you count HVAC unit or double paned triple glazed windows as “cool technology”
3. I used to be overweight, topping out at about 250 lbs at 6′1″ at 20 years old. Through a combination of discovering Dance Dance Revolution and making a few small life changes (switching to diet coke for my soda needs, not snacking when bored, and exercising occasionally) I managed to end up at 160 lbs and 6′3″ around the age of 22. I looked scary then. I didn’t really lose weight because I wanted to look extra-good naked (although there was a little vanity there). I did it because I was worried about being unhealthy and because my knees started to hurt. Now, at 27, I have been working in an office for about 5 years, and poked around 220 right around the holiday season (and my knees started hurting again a year ago). Thus, I came up with the theory “I always have a large dinner because I am hungry after a stressful day at work, so if I eat light for breakfast and lunch and avoid snacking on crap I will survive at the office on Diet Coke and then come home and eat my customary large (but sensible) meal. At 210 and dropping steadily, I think it’s working, and I haven’t gnawed anyone’s arm off at work. I have even taken to twit-pic-ing every meal I eat to keep myself honest. You can see what I am eating if you check out epijiggles on twitter.
4. I am discovering I am now loving several of the foods I hated as a child (like Curry and a wide array of fungus). Raw or very-lightly-cooked Celery is still on my list as my least palatable food that destroys anything it touches. The taste isn’t that bad, and the texture isn’t unfamiliar (fibrous and stiff)… but combined in a stick or a chunk, it is revolting to me. While I can deal with cooked-to-mush celery and celery salt, if you put chopped-up celery in your salad or casserole for “a little crunch” I will consider it completely ruined and will not eat it.
5. I like to consider myself a very forgiving and understanding person. I try to build karma for myself by making excuses for service personnel and bad drivers (”That waitress is probably having a bad day which is why she forgot to refill my Diet Coke, I’ll tip her extra to make her day better!”; “That person who is driving like a maniac probably has a sick relative or a bad case of diarrhea” ). That being said, I can be a petty, disagreeable little sumbitch about little things that don’t really affect anything. Any of my friends who have given me bad advice in a board game, missed an appointment with me, or seen me interact with querulous people online know this.
6. I love computer science and geometry, but I hate calculus. I don’t know whether I was actually bad at understanding it, or whether it was the “A computer can do this more accurately by just doing the tedious process the calculus approximates” phenomenon. Either way, I can never bring myself to memorize all the stupid little equations and drill myself in all the dumb little tricks you can pull, and since it never came naturally, I did poorly in it. This “I know the grad students use the book/some-program” is the same phenomenon for why I stopped trying to do better at Organic Chemistry. It is one of those cases where my pragmatism won out.
7. I am a happy and near-voracious reader when I actually sit down and read (I feel have to qualify myself because I have many friends who are downright gluttonous about reading, and will probably take me to task for trying to use the word ‘voracious’ while at the same time not having an oft-updated reading blog). Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to sit down and read for roughly 4 months, as work and play involve sitting and reading a computer screen all day, and I seem to pack my free-time schedule with lots of friends.
8. I have been told I am an excellent essayist. The qualifications are: “When you aren’t being overly snarky/mean/petty about something”. This is a paradox, as I usually avoid snark when I am calm, but am only driven to write my thoughts when I am angry or manic (and will use snark). Thus, my essays about passing innocuous things may be stuff of legend… but my thoughts on the things I care about will be ranty froth. Luckily, people seem to enjoy a good bit of ranty froth now and again.
9. I have spent all my life working towards two things: Financial independence (the “retire comfortably at 42″ kind) and making sure that people I care about like and respect me. The complications are, of course, trying not to be cheap and trying to make sure I don’t ever eschew former-cared-about people because it’s easier than getting back into their esteem.
10. Now that I have drank nary but diet soda, regular stuff is too sweet, and I cannot drink it except during random special occasions.
11. I have pretty much done everything there is to do in a forum. From mod one (it didn’t go well) to troll one (that, also, did not go well). The strife seems two-fold: On one hand I am a stickler for rules and regulations and being a decent person, on the other hand I enjoy a good snark and a low-grade flame war for some reason is both enthralling and mania-inducing in me. Thus things start out okay, but I make a few enemies I consider to be querulous idiots and don’t feel bad being petty to them. Then I end up losing interest because the same old fights start repeating themselves. In the end I have learned that there will always be a few people who get me and like me and will find me privately one day to become good friends. Thus, all bets are off when it comes to forums. I both love and dread the idea that my little forum might become popular one day.
12. I don’t really drink all that much, but now that I do, I secretly am fascinated by the Vesper (of Bond fame): apparently some martini with very strong vodka, very strong gin, downright toxic vermouth, and some lemon peel. I know I can never drink it because it would be way too strong for me.
13. I’ve often thought of myself as a “Type D Personality” (personality testing, not heart-attack risk). I hate change, and tend to be a stickler for punctuality, but otherwise tend to be happy with life. I do my own thing and will step up and run things if no-one is around to lead, stepping aside should a Type A come along and want to run things… knowing I will be asking them to slow down with all the random crazy upheavals they’ll introduce. Then again, maybe I am a type D heart attack risk…
14. I love strong women characters. I think this is my testament to my mom, a very smart woman who managed to help raise me and my brother and carry on a university career in elementary education. I also consider people who casually throw around words like “stupid women” (and their ruder variations) to be irretrievably demented and deranged. Needless to say, I discovered a lot of people that I suddenly wanted a lot less to-do-with during Palin’s VP run, and I am confident that they will never quite understand why I suddenly started treating them coldly.
15. I am the product of an upper-middle-class family that is loving and supportive and I have good relationships with all my extended family too. That being said, I really don’t think socio-economic background influences a child’s outcome all that much, just the proximity of caring people willing to guide that child and get them used to the basic truths about life: “You need to work and plan for what you want”, “Life isn’t fair, but good people are”, “That which is despicable to you, do not do to your neighbor” (to name a few). Thus, whenever someone tries to attribute my small successes to “privilege”, I eschew their argument. Granted, I can understand how a lack of opportunity can make things hard, so I have a fierce liberal streak and a great admiration of all sorts of managed humanitarian efforts, but at the same time, I won’t grant the generic screw-ups of the world the consolation that ‘privileged people’ stole all their chances at happiness and kept them down.
16. I can’t stand people who philosophize about basic character traits to great detail as a conversation piece. This stems from one ex-fling who went on and on about how important honesty is to him… only to repeatedly demonstrate he was not very good at being forthcoming or particularly honest. I often joked of him “He talked about honesty so much because he didn’t get it’s concepts at age 3 like everyone else. Thus, honesty is a fascinating concept open to lots of interpretations…”
17. I often find myself attracted to “big brothers”. Men who are about 2-6 years older who are on the next plane of maturity. Ironically, I have been merrily partnered with a man 3 years my junior and arguably less mature for about 5 years now. Love comes from unexpected places indeed.
18. My work style tends to be “goof-off for four hours, then do 10 hours worth of work in the next four hours”. Interspersed… but when I try and force myself to work really hard for a solid 8 hours when there isn’t an obvious deadline or sudden need for it… I hate it, myself, and the world. Thus, I have stopped trying and hope no-one notices or cares when they see me goof off. Also there are some days where I forget to work enough and then I get depressed about it.
19. I sucked my thumb well into my early teens, and had Braces in my senior year of high-school and early years of college. Ironically, while I had a bit of an overbite, the real reason for the braces is that I had a baby-tooth that became impacted where my canine was supposed to emerge, so they had to set up rigging to make space and then slowly pull the canine down where it was supposed to go. I have a broken bottom “permanent” retainer and I haven’t been able to fit my top retainer since I had a crown done on a root canal. Luckily, everything seems okay. Ironically, I love orthodontists and hate dentists.
20. I always worry that I am too long winded. Then again, all the people who have complained I am too long winded usually did so because I posted a very thorough and non-personal set of arguments as to why their view/opinion/explanations are complete bunk. And their complaint was along the lines of “I’m not even going to begin to read all that, and I hate you, you disagreeable cur, you”
21. I actually think all the supposedly vapid and idiotic young ladies running around getting press from Perez Hilton and the like, are very smart. I feel that in future history classes, they will be viewed as business savvy and PR moguls.
22. I was born in Maryland, moved to Charlotte, NC for High School, Went to Duke for College (but maintained a homestead in Columbia, SC) and now live/work in Atlanta. I figure I will be in Key West or South America by the time I retire.
23. I think the East Coast is better than the West Coast simply because everything happens here first (take THAT Pacific Standard Time)
24. I am constantly on the lookout for a good, web-based tool that will update my status, twitter, facebook, and everything else simultaneously
25. I love Atlanta, know several people who don’t, and it all seems to boil down to whether or not you enjoy driving.
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