25 Short Things About Me

I’ve been tagged on Face­book with the 25 Things About You meme by my friend, Rebec­ca Salous­tros. I guess there’s only one thing to do:

Here are the Rules from this blog meme: Once you’ve been tagged, you are sup­posed to write a note with 25 ran­dom things, facts, habits, or goals about you. Then, at the end, choose 25 peo­ple to be tagged. You have to tag the per­son who tagged you. I was tagged, I’ve been told,  because they want to know more about me, and to those who I will tag, I’ll have tagged you because I want to know more about you.

As I said, this start­ed on Face­book, but I am mov­ing it to my blog, so I am doing a post instead of a Face­book note, one of it is to talk about The Impor­tance Of Your Hair Growth Cycle which no one thinks about it. Noth­ing in the rules said any­thing about it hav­ing to be on Face­book. So in a sense, this virus has ‘jumped’ species. Ooh, scary.

After I am done, I will prob­a­bly not tag 25 peo­ple. I like to keep the num­ber of peo­ple I annoy to a min­i­mum, just like Rebec­ca.

  1. Let’s start with the easy stuff first: My favourite colour is Beige. Yes, wheat, light brown, call it what you will. I like the feel of it on my eyes, and like to wear cloth­ing that col­or, espe­cial­ly if it is soft, because it is sooth­ing in both the visu­al and tac­tile sense. Besides, every­body’s favourite colour is blue and they make fun of beige, or speak ill of it, as if it were bland or weak. (I even remem­ber an Apple Ad that said that Beige was­n’t even a colour.) Nah, it’s just sub­tle.
  2. My first mem­o­ry was when my par­ents took me to the Coun­ty Fair in West Vir­ginia and we hap­pened to be walk­ing by the pen when they took out the piglet for the ‘greased pig’ con­test (where con­tes­tants try to catch the quick, young pig cov­ered with grease). The piglet let out a high-pitched squeal. I’m told that when I was star­tled by it, I cried for hours.
  3. I have a scar on my left eye­brow, from stitch­es put in when I was 3 or 4 year’s old and attend­ing the birth­day par­ty for a neigh­bor­hood boy named Frankie (I learned lat­er that it was real­ly Rus­sell) Cyz­ick.  The stitch­es were from watch­ing a Mar­ble race game, try­ing to fol­low the mar­bles too quick­ly, cut­ting a gash above my eye. Rus­sell Cysick grew up to be one of the Marines who died when the bar­racks in Beirut, Lebanon were bombed on Octo­ber 23, 1983. Some­times I think of that scar when I hear about that inci­dent in his­to­ry.
  4. I wrote 2 books about per­son­al com­put­er soft­ware. One was called ‘Cool Mac Stacks’, which was about Hyper­card, a ‘soft­ware erec­tor set’ from Apple in the late 80’s that per­haps antic­i­pat­ed Visu­al Basic (and, I sup­pose in turn, .Net script­ing, the Web, Apple­script and Javascript). It had (get this:) a flop­py disk in the back of it.  The oth­er was co-writ­ten with Michael Murie, and is called ‘Quick­Time Hand­book’. I’ve con­tem­plat­ed writ­ing a med­ical action thriller (Think 28 Days Lat­er meets a hard-boiled Detec­tive Dra­ma) and a cou­ple of recipe books, includ­ing one for Maple Syrup (with atmos­pher­ic pho­tog­ra­phy) or more recent­ly, an updat­ed cook­book for the Granville Island Pub­lic Mar­ket.
  5. I’m not a big fan of cars, but I’ve always liked Corvettes, espe­cial­ly the ones from the 70’s. It’s the design.
  6. The only veg­etable I don’t like is beets, and I pre­fer mush­rooms cooked. The only fruits I’m not crazy about are Pineap­ple and raw apples (they are fine cooked, though). Man­gos seem too much trou­ble, with that big pit.
  7. My favourite painter is the sur­re­al­ist Yves Tan­guy, who paint­ed metic­u­lous but vast land­scapes pop­u­lat­ed by strange, mul­ti-coloured, vague­ly bio­log­i­cal shapes, cast­ing long after­noon shad­ows on plains with the hori­zon far in the dis­tance. Seri­ous­ly, it’s amaz­ing­ly trip­py stuff.
  8. I some­times have a freak­ish­ly accu­rate mem­o­ry, but at oth­er times, seem to draw a blank. I fear that my accu­rate mem­o­ries are begin­ning to wane with age.
  9. I also have a freak­ish­ly good sense of smell. This is actu­al­ly as good as is has ever been, and I now know that if I had known it was that much bet­ter than every­body elses, I could have got­ten a job as a ‘Nose’ in a per­fume fac­to­ry, or per­haps a whiskey blender in a Scotch dis­tillery.
  10. There are sev­er­al places in the world that I want to vis­it. Hope­ful­ly, in 2010, we will go to Viet­nam, Thai­land and Hong Kong.  I’d also love to tour Den­mark, Ice­land and Swe­den, as well as Prague, Budapest and Tallinn (Esto­nia). That last one because one of my favourite unknown com­posers, Eduard Tubin, is from there. (Tubin wrote 9 Sym­phonies and 2 Piano Sonatas, and much of his music is so good, I can’t believe it’s unknown. The Fourth Sym­pho­ny should be a sta­ple of the lit­er­a­ture, and the Piano Con­certi­no is real­ly fine.)
  11. Some day I’d like to be able to get real­ly good at mak­ing short pas­try crust from scratch. I always  pan­ic when a recipe calls for this (i.e., any pie, pasty or tart).
  12. I like cats. I appre­ci­ate that they decide to like you on your mer­its, rather than start out help­less­ly depen­dent on you, just because you’re the per­son who shows up at the door.  I think that cats can sense this about me, per­haps through my body lan­guage, or the way I approach them or smell;  Fre­quent­ly, cats that hiss and run away from oth­ers will cozy up to me. This is not to say that I dis­like dogs, but I have to admit that I real­ly do dis­like that many dogs leave an odor on your hands after you pet them (or at least one that those with a freak­ish­ly good sense of smell — see above — can detect).
  13. OK. About halfway there. Speak­ing of 13, unlike a lot of peo­ple from North Amer­i­ca and Europe, I have no fear of the num­ber 13. It’s a fam­i­ly thing; My broth­er and I were both born on the 13th of the month, exact­ly 3 years apart. My par­ents were mar­ried on the 26th of the month (twice 13). 13 keeps crop­ping up my life, but it nev­er both­ers me as it would some.
  14. I’m a fan of sin­gle malts, Port and small-batch bour­bon (Book­ers, Mak­er’s Mark, and Knob Creek). I rarely if ever drink gin, vod­ka or rye whiskey and I’m not real­ly fond of Mar­ti­nis (Spe­cial­ty or Clas­sic). I do like a good Daiquiri, Dark and Stormy (Rum and Gin­ger Beer) or Moji­to in the sum­mer.
  15. I’m an unre­pen­tant Mac Fan­boy. Prob­a­bly not as vehe­ment as some, but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being a Microsoft Fanat­ic and 10 being a rav­ing Apple acolyte, I’m prob­a­bly a 8.75. Pam says it’s clos­er to 9.25. Let’s just say that hav­ing to use a PC run­ning Vista halves my pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and makes me grumpy. XP, not so much.
  16. I’ve got a bit of fear of heights. For some strange rea­son, it appears to be get­ting worse as I get old­er, and I have no clue as to why.
  17. I’m hop­ing that the next car we own will be one that runs entire­ly on elec­tric pow­er (or at the very least, is a plug-in hybrid).
  18. I nev­er wear the colour blue (except for blue den­im jeans), and espe­cial­ly not Navy. I once had a Navy-blue blaz­er, and it made me look like a corpse. I’ve come to the con­clu­sion that hazel eyes and grey/brown hair just don’t go with blue, espe­cial­ly with pasty-white skin. As I’ve often said: I don’t tan; I just try to get rid of the blue.
  19. I only once vot­ed for a Repub­li­can. It was for William Weld, the gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­setts (in 1990). He was run­ning against a lunatic who nev­er should have been the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nom­i­nee,  John Sil­ber.  Weld was lat­er black­balled and kept from being ambas­sador to Mex­i­co by Jesse Helms (the racist and homo­pho­bic Sen­a­tor of North Car­oli­na who died last year), and went on to prac­tice law in New York and write nov­els. He endorsed Oba­ma over McCain after hav­ing backed and sup­port­ed Mitt Rom­ney, a lat­er gov­er­nor of Mass­a­chu­setts. I stood next to Weld on the T (the Boston Sub­way) once. We did­n’t speak.
  20. Speak­ing of famous peo­ple I’ve met, as I men­tioned in an ear­li­er post­ing, that includes for­mer Gov­er­nor and Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date Howard Dean, who I had a mar­velous chat with while rid­ing BART to the San Fran­cis­co Air­port last year, for­mer Gov­er­nor and Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date Michael Dukakis (also on the sub­way — nice to see politi­cians rid­ding mass tran­sit, eh?) as well as com­posers Vir­gil Thom­son, Ned Rorem, Aaron Cop­land, Leonard Bern­stein, Elliott Carter, Toru Takemit­su, Olivi­er Mes­si­aen, Steve Reich, John Williams and a bunch of oth­er less famous names (some of them teach­ers). I met con­duc­tors Michael Tilson Thomas, Andre Previn and Sei­ji Oza­wa and had a friend­ship (through fam­i­ly) with Sergiu Com­mi­siona, the Prin­ci­pal con­duc­tor of both the Bal­ti­more and Van­cou­ver Sym­pho­ny Orches­tras at one time or anoth­er (sad­ly, he died before I moved here). I have a ton of auto­graphs, some of the peo­ple men­tioned here.
  21. I strong­ly dis­like South­ern Amer­i­can accents. Sor­ry, I know I should­n’t pre­judge, but a thick Car­olin­ian or Alaba­man drawl grates on my ears like fin­gers on a black­board. If it’s any con­so­la­tion, I also cringe when I hear the accent from Rochester, New York, with it’s flat vow­els and tight-jawed pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the city’s name itself (which comes out sound­ing like ‘Rach­ster’)
  22. The most unpleas­ant place I’ve ever lived was Rochester, New York, which arguably has the least amount of year­ly sun­shine of the low­er forty-eight US states due to the ‘Lake Effect’, which is the huge, dark canopy of clouds formed for about 9 months out of the year by mass­es of cold­er Cana­di­an air meet­ing mass­es of warmer Amer­i­can air over Lake Ontario. There were sev­er­al weeks when I looked out the win­dow, that I could­n’t tell whether it was 4 AM or 4 PM.  Not that it mat­tered; there was about as much to do in that city at either hour.
  23. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but instead, often crave crunchy, salty things.  Melt­ed cheese on top of or inside a crunchy corn, rice or bread thing is my undo­ing.
  24. I require a real­ly odd shoe size: 11 1/2 triple‑A. That’s the nar­row­est size there is. It means that I can nev­er get cheap shoes that fit, and for a while when we lived in Boston, I took the plunge and had cus­tom lasts (those are pieces of wood that are the same shape and size as your feet) made by John­ston Mur­phy so I could get shoes that fit with­out hav­ing to try on 10–15 pairs each time. They no longer do make cus­tom shoes, so I’m out of luck when the shoes I got back then wear out. You’ll nev­er see me in san­dals because they sim­ply can’t stay on a foot with a heel as nar­row as mine.
  25. If the rest of these minu­ti­ae don’t pro­vide a good enough over­all image of me, when I took the Myers Brig­gs per­son­al­i­ty test years ago, it pegged me as an ENTP, or Extravert­ed iNtu­itive Think­ing Per­ceiv­ing, or ‘The Vision­ary’ (I like the sound of that). Accord­ing to one descrip­tion of ENTPs:

    …the ENT­P’s pri­ma­ry inter­est in life is under­stand­ing the world that they live in. They are con­stant­ly absorb­ing ideas and images about the sit­u­a­tions they are pre­sent­ed in their lives. Using their intu­ition to process this infor­ma­tion, they are usu­al­ly extreme­ly quick and accu­rate in their abil­i­ty to size up a sit­u­a­tion.

    With the excep­tion of their ENFP cousin, the ENTP has a deep­er under­stand­ing of their envi­ron­ment than any of the oth­er types. This abil­i­ty to intu­itive­ly under­stand peo­ple and sit­u­a­tions puts the ENTP at a dis­tinct advan­tage in their lives. They gen­er­al­ly under­stand things quick­ly and with great depth. Accord­ing­ly, they are quite flex­i­ble and adapt well to a wide range of tasks. They are good at most any­thing that inter­ests them.

    As they grow and fur­ther devel­op their intu­itive abil­i­ties and insights, they become very aware of pos­si­bil­i­ties, and this makes them quite resource­ful when solv­ing prob­lems.

    ENTPs are idea peo­ple. Their per­cep­tive abil­i­ties cause them to see pos­si­bil­i­ties every­where. They get excit­ed and enthu­si­as­tic about their ideas, and are able to spread their enthu­si­asm to oth­ers. In this way, they get the sup­port that they need to ful­fill their visions.”

    I guess that sounds good to me .

OK, tag’ees’, here I come!

8 Replies to “25 Short Things About Me”

  1. Hmmm. I did­n’t see Rebec­ca­’s tagees in her post, but that might have been because of Face­book. In mak­ing the jump to blogspeed, I should prob­a­bly add them here. Will do.

  2. I like all your ideas for books: when can I read them? As for trav­el­ling, I was sad to see Roma­nia not on your list. No one ever cares about Roma­nia, but I guess that saves all the good stuff for me.

  3. There was no attempt to snub Roma­nia. I’d def­i­nite­ly like to vis­it Bucharest as well, and I’d pre­fer (like many of the oth­er places I’ve men­tioned) to tour it in the Spring or Sum­mer. I should men­tion that there are a ton of oth­er des­ti­na­tions I had­n’t men­tioned; the num­ber of places I’d like to vis­it far out­strips the time I have left in my life, as well as the amount of mon­ey it would take to get there.

  4. Great list, David! #1 & #18 remind me of a job I had about 10 years ago. I used to do make up appli­ca­tions and lessons. Any­way, my boss used to offer a colour drap­ing ser­vice. This enabled us to see if a client was a Spring, Sum­mer, Fall or Win­ter. The the­o­ry was that Win­ter and Sum­mer peo­ple looked bet­ter in “Cool” colours and Spring and Fall peo­ple looked bet­ter in “Warm” colours. I would say you were def­i­nite­ly the lat­ter. This might explain why many blues do not suit you. Google “colour drap­ing” and you’ll see what I mean.

  5. Hi Rebec­ca,

    Thanks for giv­ing me an excuse to write about stuff that I don’t nor­mal­ly touch upon. And…tag! You are tagged back, as I am sup­posed to, right? (That part did­n’t make much sense to me, as you’ve already writ­ten 25 things about your­self — does this mean you are to write 25 more?)

    I remem­ber the Colour Sea­son era, and peo­ple describ­ing them­selves as a ‘Win­ter’ or a ‘Sum­mer’. Pam still uses some of that ter­mi­nol­o­gy to this day when get­ting dressed.

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