in All, Observating

Seven things

Somehow I’ve managed to not find myself on a lot of friends’ forward lists, and without actively playing on MySpace, I avoid getting those “Things About Me” surveys. Not that those surveys would really bother me, it just seems like they never change and are always so long. But today I got called out in blog form and that motivated me.

New(ish) Toast regular Renee called me out on her blog after she got “tagged,” as they call it – meaning she had to post seven things about her that people don’t know and then ask seven other people to do it. I like the idea of just writing about it instead of being asked to fill out a template survey. But I shant “tag” seven other folks – instead I just ask that if anyone reading this is motivated to write, then write…and then link us in the comments here.

So I started thinking about it and had to find and debate what seven things I want to share. I tried to think of things I haven’t already blogged about in the past and that can’t be figured out after a quick browse of my photos. And this list will probably be a yawner for the local friends because they’ve known things a long time…or maybe not, they might be surprised. Anyhoo…

Seven random things about me:

1. I studied art, not computers. Computers been involved in my life since about 8th grade. Once I hit high school and got a job at a computer store it just got worse. I had at least five computers setup in my parent’s basement for all-night Starcraft and Duke Nukem sessions. It was nuts but a lot of fun. Having access to new computer technology often before others was really neat and just set me up for a career in computers. I’ve always loved art and creating things, but as I got more involved with computing I started to combine the two, naturally. But since school friends and others have always associated me with the internet and computers, many just naturally assume I would study computers. Well, my intention was to get some sort of graphic design degree (computers + art) but found that didn’t exist when I got to college so I was left with fine art. Not exactly what I wanted but I stuck with it so I could just get done. By the time I started college I was making close to $20/hour as a developer so college didn’t interest me much. I did my time and got done, but my time in college really didn’t effect or direct my career. And to this day art/design plays a more vital role in my daily life than computers do, honestly. Anyone can learn computers. Art and design require something more.

2. I organize but I don’t clean. This is by far the most frequent argument with the wife. Her cleaning standards are far higher than mine and I can’t meet expectations. I honestly try to clean and do the best I can, but always come short. Since I’m not a adamant cleaner, my solution is to organize. Organization often leads to the appearance of cleanliness, and that is usually good enough for me in most cases. Of course, the Wife isn’t the best organizer, so we match up nicely. I like organizing. I honestly think it’s fun because I like the challenge of finding a way to make things more efficient by simply rearranging things. If your environment defines your workflow, then organizing that environment is very important.

3. I’ve been wearing Converse sneakers since sixth grade. That’s not so say I’ve been wearing the same pair since I was 11, but I’ve always worn some form of All-Star or One-Star shoe. My middle school gym teacher, Mr. Larson, always wore low-top Chucks and he was so cool and fun that I just wanted to wear them because he did. It also helped that there was a Converse outlet store up by my grandma’s house so every visit we would buy a pair or two — and keep in mind this is when you could buy a pair of All-Stars for $20 or less. While many consider them “clown shoes,” I consider them extremely comfortable and classic. I look at other shoes and they are so ugly. So many colors, springs, pumps, windows, and god awful designs…yuck. Converse are the closest thing you can get to bare feet and still be classified as wearing a shoe. But I’m sure my feet would tell a different tale if they had the chance. And I’m not afraid of color either. I’ve had your standard black and white Chucks, but also green, blue, red, brown, and maroon. I even had a black leather pair that lived a long-but-rough-but-loved life.

4. I suck at finishing projects. When it comes to home projects I really have trouble following through. These could be handyman tasks, web ideas, making things, yard projects…shy of fixing things that need to be fixed, I spend way to much time thinking, planning, sketching, and weighing the options/risks about any given project. I do that so much that I usually get burned out in the process and the idea never happens. Or worse, I get all the stuff to start but never start. Honestly, this Hot Wheels Derby track has been the first project in a line of many that I “just did” one weekend and actually have a somewhat final product. Computer/web projects at home I have a hard time starting or finishing most simply because I do it all day at work and just can’t find motivation to do it again when I get home. But when I find something I like and enjoy, I really get in to it…to the point where I’ll dedicate a lot time and effort. They’re few and far between, but it happens.

5. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I eat crap. I never got caught up in the early-age drinking or smoking. I had a brief cigar stint in high school, but nothing serious and nothing that carried over into adult life. I just sat back and watched my friends booze it up because they honestly had nothing better to do. I was smarter than that and I thank my parents for that. Not only are they clean living too, they didn’t over threaten me with the “bad things.” Their expectations kept me in line, not their threats. But to that extent, my crapping eating habits are also my parents’ fault. I’ve been eating crap since I was kid and I haven’t really fixed the problem. I’ve probably eaten and drank myself into diabetes by this point. And I must say it’s unfair and hard to make changes when there aren’t any obvious consequences. I’m sure my stomach lining is all gone and my baldness is probably due to just one too many glasses of Kool-Aid, but otherwise I feel just fine. I haven’t gained, or lost, any weight since 8th grade. Overall, I’m a very low-stress person, so I’m sure that helps balance things out. But one day it will all come crashing down and then things will get interesting.

6. I have a double-jointed thumb. My right thumb. It does this neat “pop” thing that was awesome for grossing people out in elementary school. I would be out on the playground and then all of sudden yell, “Ouch! My thumb!” People would crowd around and then I’d “pop” my thumb back in to place. Awesome.

110904_0008.JPG7. I have the coolest wife in the world. My wife Jen is the single biggest influence on me than anyone else in my adult life. We went to high school together but didn’t date until college. She was two years ahead of me in school so she had graduated well before me, but then college came along and we hit things off. But I think we hit it off because we already knew each other. We didn’t have to do the whole “courting” thing, per se. We already knew a lot about each other’s personality. So we dated for five years before getting married, now for three years. Her influence on me privately, publicaly, and culturally is huge. We have a lot in common to start, but as Rocky said to Adrianne, “we have gaps” and we fill each others’ gaps perfectly. Where I’m weak she is strong, and vice versa. I can’t ask anything more from my wife ever because she enjoys what I do and I enjoy what she does. We take interest in each others’ work and hobbies. She’s smart, she’s funny, she can bake, she’s hot, she listens to kick ass music, she doesn’t mind my toys and games, she is loves helping others, we can openly talk about anything, and she doesn’t ask for stupid things. What more could you want? She’s made me stronger when it comes to life situations, work situations, and anything else that comes my way. Our individual happiness motivates each other constantly and that is a wonderful thing that gets me excited everyday. And I’m very proud of everything she does and I love telling people about her. We’re often happiest together just doing nothing in particular. We don’t always have to be doing an activity together, but we’re happiest when we’re around each other. She can be doing her thing in the house and I can be doing mine, and neither of us really have to worry about the other too much. We play off of each other very well to the point where we amuse ourselves, leaving us the only ones laughing…and if that’s not special, I don’t know what is.

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  1. Well, gee, Brian. I don’t know what to say. Are you trying to make me cry?

  2. 1. I write and I always have. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl and I’ve kept up with it over the years. I frequently write short stories and poetry and I bet even Brian does not know this. When I taught pre-school, I kept a notebook and wrote while the kids napped in the afternoons. I have a pretty good idea in my head for a historical fiction novel that I try to work on during breaks.
    2. I am in 2 books. My love of a band called New Order landed me in a biography, thanks to my little website. I’m in the final chapter and I’m cited in other places in the book too. It is kind of surreal and neat to be associated with a band I am so passionate about. Some of the teacher resources I have made are also featured in another book. Kinda cool.
    3. I love history. I use youtube to watch old presidential debates and programs about the Swedish monarch. I am proud of my degree in military history and I am not ashamed to admit that I know way more than anyone should about French field equipment.
    4. I watch sports. But I have calmed down. When I was in high school, I couldn’t leave the house in the morning before I caught Sports Center. I am a New Jersey Devils fan, a Green Bay Packers fan, and an Atlanta Braves fan. In that order. The NHL is my main love and I can drone on for hours about my glory days of hockey: the 1990s.
    5. I clean but I don’t organize. I will scrub the house top to bottom all day and never complain. Cleaning is therapy for me. If I am stressed I clean. Ask me to organize and I am at a loss. My students even make fun of my classroom desk’s lack of organization. I have no idea where to start when I need to organize, where to put all that stuff or how to find it later. Even my purse is a sty, currently filled with change, chewing gum, receipts, and two wallets.
    6. I rarely watch TV. When I was little I played outside all the time. Once I began school I watched my fair share of TV. When I discovered music, I was busy with the radio. The TV may often be on in my house but I am rarely watching it unless it is a show I really like. I am usually killing time reading, playing on the internet, or working on lesson plans.
    7. I hate talking on the phone. E-mail me or text message me but don’t call me! I think my hatred for the telephone comes from working in a VERY busy call center for two years. I will talk on the phone but do so reluctantly.

  3. That’s a fun picture. And #7 was so sweet! It sounds like you 2 totally deserve each other :)

    Ug, you were one of THOSE guys with the thumb! I had a friend that would pin me down in elementary school and pop his thumbs (he was double jointed on BOTH) in my face. Even thinking about it 20 years later, my gag reflex is reacting. Why does it bother me?!?!?