Monday, January 26, 2009

25 things making the rounds

I decided to do this for the blog after seeing a friend on Facebook post this and forward to 25 people for them to do. I was not one of them, but hey, blog!

"Rules: 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."

0. I hate when people use "random" in cases that clearly do not involve randomness!

1. One of my favorite things to observe growing up was how data storage has changed, and how it's still changing. I was in a week-long computer camp every summer when I was a kid, and one of the best things was seeing my favorite instructor go on about these fancy new 3.5" disks. "They're practically indestructible," he said, as he bent it back and forth to show off its durability. It disintegrated onto the sidewalk.

2. I've only ever broken one bone, and it was a finger. I had a splint for it, and the worst thing about it was the smell of the bandage after having had it on for a couple of days.

3. I was on my middle school track team and ran the second slowest half-mile of the team in 7th grade. I was thrilled to be moved to sprints in 8th grade, because it meant that I didn't have to jiggle all the way around the track twice before the next event could start.

4. Since my parents got us our family dog, Ben, I've given pets people names. He and Angus (cat) were great pets, if a bit mentally challenged, but I hope we made their lives pleasant. Our cats, Franklin J. Monster and Stanley T. Cat provide us with challenges every day. I have no idea how we'll discipline children.

5. I was baptized and confirmed at Settlement Lutheran Church (member, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) in Gowen, Michigan. It's true what they say, though - the best way to get a rowdy teenager out of a church is to confirm him.

6. I was a Boy Scout until I got into high school. At about the same time, my Dad became the Scoutmaster for my troop. Every part of trying to earn the Eagle rank at that point seemed weird to me, and I always wonder if this was a disappointment to him. I suppose I could ask.

7. I had an embarrassing role in a ridiculous high-school play. (I had to look up the title: May the Farce Be With You. Ugh. Upon further investigation, it's entirely likely the play is older than I am.) I stuck to doing things off-stage after that.

8. In my senior year of high school, I was given an award for being "Best Musician." I played the trombone for eight years and stopped playing when I went to college. My embouchure has been shot for a LONG time. This is one of my few regrets.

9. I used to believe that everyone had the potential to write one great song. Since then, Guitar Hero and Microsoft Songsmith have come into existence. Now I'm not so sure.

10. I used to take myself entirely too seriously, and I like to think that I've cured myself of that through a combination of occasional reflection on my numerous shortcomings and a good solid being made fun of from time to time.

11. Symptomatic of the previous item, I took over a radio show called "I Wanna Be Emo" not realizing how ridiculous that would sound ten years later.

12. I love playing games of all kinds. I love learning rules and systems, from anything as simple as Carcassonne to something as complex as Burning Wheel. The little "ah ha!" moments I get when I figure out an optimal play are like a drug. I'll never understand real-time strategy, though.

13. I have started and stopped playing more collectible card and miniature games in my adult life than I care to admit, but I'd buy up a bunch of Shadowfist, NetRunner, Shadowrun, or BattleTech cards if I had a regular-ish group.

14. I'm a sucker for a great deal, and I'm a little ashamed that it's taken me thirty years to understand and exercise monetary restraint. I noted a particular case of this over on Tumblr.

15. I used to be a real hard-ass about taste in music, movies, and stuff. I would evangelize things I loved and tear down things I disliked like I was some kind of arbiter of good taste. I've tried hard to be better about this. Life is hard enough for people without getting grief from me about something they enjoy. Unless it's Nickelback. They are worse than awful, and nobody is ever wrong or clich├ęd for calling them garbage.

16. It is heartbreaking to think of all of the amazing art that exists in the world that I will never experience.

17. I love having things in some kind of order. My room / house / office might be a mess, but I can tell you exactly where anything is, as long as it's been sorted by whatever strange criteria I decided to use. I tried sorting my DVDs once in alphabetical order by director name, then chronologically within that. It was a beautiful thing.

18. Working with a database every day might not seem like much of a challenge, but I like to think that I'm an expert at quickly mining the data that my bosses need to make decisions.

19. It's equally baffling and terrifying that only the set of life decisions and day-to-day actions that I've taken could have led me to meet the woman who would become my wife. It's also a bit scary to think that my friend who introduced me to my future wife did so mostly because she thought I would get along well with my future father-in-law. It worked, Tisha!

20. I started learning to cook a couple of years ago, and I can fake a pretty okay dinner when I need to. The dinner can even be themed!

21. As mentioned before, I had a lot of success the first time I joined Weight Watchers. While Beth and I were able to support each other on a day-to-day basis, I probably could not have done as well as I did if I didn't have my mom to talk to about my struggles with food and exercise.

22. Beth and I had wrote our own wedding ceremony. It's my favorite creative thing I've ever helped to produce, and we have amazing records and memories of it. The fact that our friends and family were there to be a witness to it is one of my proudest moments.

23. I have a real shortage of photographs from growing up. I'm sure that my folks have a bunch of them, but I'm trying to make up for it now. My mother-in-law is a tremendous inspiration for this. She makes amazing scrapbooks and is a great family historian.

24. I've only traveled internationally once, and it was by car to Canada in Summer 2008 for Beth's family reunion. We drove maybe 20 miles (sorry, 32 km), and we ended up farther south than we live. In February, we're going to Costa Rica and renting a car to get around, so it will be like The Amazing Race without all the time pressure. Should be a great first trip!

25. I would love to be a dad a year from now, but I'm not sure if I would prefer to have a boy or a girl as my first child. I'm leaning boy.

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