I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone tagged me for the “25 Random Facts” craze that’s sweeping the blogosphere (Hi, cdlu!). My first reaction was to admire Linus Torvalds’ response:
1. I get bored very easily.
and wish that I’d thought of that reply first, or something equally witty.
But then I started to be intrigued by the idea and decided to participate after all. So, here goes:
1. If my shins were in the proper proportion, I’d be over six feet tall. Since they’re not, I have a long torso and short legs, and fall on the short side of average.
2. I have exercised almost daily since I was nine years old. For years, I favored running, but in the last three years, I’ve expanded into swimming and an exercise bike to buy my knees a few extra years of use.
3. I regularly pass for younger than my age. This is a mixed blessing at times.
4. For several decades, I have lived with one or more Nanday conures, a type of small South American parrot. Currently we have four, including a mated pair and one of their offspring.
5. Our Nandays are jealous of the telephone. For this reason, when telemarketers phone, I like to stand close to their cages so the person on the other line can hear then screech. The phone really amplifies the sound, and tends to make conversations short.
6. I have a passionate interest in collecting Northwest Coast Art. In fact, I consider it the only modern art form that is consistently interesting.
7. Four years ago, I gave up coffee and all forms of caffeine, including chocolate, because I had become hyper-sensitive to it. One sip of coffee could wire me for almost twelve hours. Fortunately, what I really like is hot drinks, so the sacrifice doesn’t amount to much, except for shedding the false sense of urgency that caffeine leaves you with.
8. I have never owned a credit card, because the temptation is too strong. This is probably the main reason that I have never been in debt.
9. I am a confirmed free and open source software (FOSS) supporter. I use GNU/Linux on my computers, and only see Windows about once every six months or so – which is far too often. Part of my reason for this belief is that I earn my living by writing about FOSS, but I would use it even if I didn’t.
10. I have been a busboy, a warehouse worker, a bookstore clerk, a teaching assistant, a sessional instructor, a technical writer, a marketing and communications consultant, and a freelance journalist. People who write are supposed to have varied careers, so I’m trying to do my bit.
11. My preferred music is folk with a beat and intelligent lyrics. That means I tend to listen to all sorts of people you’ve probably never heard of, such as OysterBand and The Men They Couldn’t Hang. Possibly, you’ve heard of The Pogues, though.
12 I came out of the dot-com crash with 65,000 worthless stock options in defunct companies.
13. I once helped to run a brass rubbing booth for four summer weekends at a Renaissance Faire.
14. I read mostly science fiction, 19th century novels, history, and biography. But I’ve been known to read almost anything if the plot is right.
15. On a regular basis, my life turns surreal. For instance, once when we asked friends in Berkeley if we could crash with them, the reply was, “All right, but you’ll have to sleep in the dojo with six witches from Denver.” The reply sounds like the start of a dirty joke, but it was perfectly true.
16. I am not a foodie, but I have several dishes that I am especially proud of, including buttered chicken, sweet potato pie, rissotto, lasagna, spanakopita, and saganaki.
17. I find groups of all men or all women equally crass. I firmly believe that each gender needs the other to civilize it.
18. The only thing I am worse at than being in charge of someone is taking orders. That’s why I’m a freelancer.
19 .I am probably far too polite for my own good. This politeness makes people surprised when I get angry.
20. Although I work from home and generally work alone, I am not particularly an introvert. Nor am I an extrovert. I like socializing, and I like being by myself.
21. I despise watching sports, although I have always liked participating in them. I regularly break up a sports discussion with questions like, “Oh? Vancouver has a hockey team?”
22. I did not attend my high school graduation. I have had the occasional regret in the years since, but attending my first high school reunion a few years ago convinces me that I didn’t miss much.
23. My master’s thesis became the definitive study of the American fantasist Fritz Leiber. One of these days, I need to finish editing his letters to his oldest friend.
24. There are several things about me that I have no intention of mentioning here.
25.This is one of them.
There. I don’t think I’ll tag anyone,though. One of the facts I didn’t mention is that I can be lazy about little things.