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. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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’)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!