4 February 2009

25 things, as seen on facebook

Those of you with Facebook accounts likely know what follows.

To everybody else, there's a so-called meme going around to get people to the use Facebook Notes feature that has people writing 25 facts, goals, thoughts, and whatnot about themselves and then 'tagging' 25 people connected to them on Facebook to presumably do the same.

If you happen to be in the former group, feel free to comment there instead of here.

I may have written about some of these things before. None of the below is a boast about my stellar memory.

1. I don't like to pick favorites or rank things in order of personal preference, generally. I wrote this list out without numbers first* and then reordered them several times. To my knowledge, they're not supposed to be in any particular order anyway, but I'd hate to have some sort of preference or priority suggested by them.

2. The backpack I carry every day to work with me is the same one I used in sixth grade. The zipper got replaced once or twice, but that's about it. I now realize that, back in high school, when I used to scrawl slogans and jokes on it atop pieces of masking tape, that doing so was a good thing lest I show up at work with a bag suggesting we "PAVE THE WHALES". Why I also had electrical and gaffer's tape with me as well was not really clear then and even more so now.

3. I once owned the domain name peanutbutterandjelly.info but never got around to doing anything with it before it expired.

4. I've never been entirely satisfied with capitalization. I Really Hate When All The Words Are Capitalized In A Sentence, Or Song Title, Or Headline, Et Cetera. Sentence case, on the other hand, isn't always entirely appropriate either, particularly when it comes to band names. I may go to my grave not knowing exactly how I'd want to capitalize, say, the dysfunctional psychedelic Waltons, or I am the World Trade Center. all lowercase looks immature and unfinished to me, whatsisname cummings be damned.

5. I spend far too much time correcting titles and artists (and capitalization) of my mp3s.

6. Early in my freshman year of college I was threatened with a lawsuit from the RIAA, for operating an mp3 distribution FTP site. At the time the amount being thrown around was $15 million, but fortunately after deleting all of them, giving up my school-provided email for a year, and writing some 'informative' newspaper columns, I was off the hook. They never filed suit. This was before they started cracking down on everybody.

7. Also in college I got in trouble with the computer lab guys for hiding rc5-64bit encryption-cracking programs (for science, and a competition, not hacking) on the workstations with processes named like 'ps' and 'grep'. Apparently their long run times and CPU usage were a dead giveaway. I told them I'd stop doing it, and haven't contributed to any distributed computing effort/contest since then, using my computer or anybody else's.

8. During high school I was on the local YMCA swim team. I wasn't very good at it (the best I think I did, other than garnering a 'most improved' trophy, was winning my heat at regionals, once. Afterward, when picking up my ribbon, I learned that I was 31st of 36. Somehow I managed to be in the same pool with the every single swimmer slower than me), and now when I get into a pool I find myself wondering what I'm supposed to do to pass the time.

9. I know I abuse parentheses in my writing, though I would not consider my use of them to be improper (see above).

10. My only home internet connection was dialup well into early 2008. I even played World of Warcraft over it for quite some time.

11. I don't play World of Warcraft anymore, and haven't for quite some time. It stopped being fun when I couldn't play at the same time as my friends and I wasn't finding a dollar's worth of entertainment in it every day.

12. I've found myself to be fiercely competitive when the stakes are low or nonexistent, even to the point of cheating if I know I can get away with it. This does not apply to playing board and card games with people, though. I don't try to cheat anymore - it's no longer fun to win by cheating. I'd rather play and have a good time, then work to make sure I win at the expense of the fun.

13. There is a great disparity between the number of words I recognize, and the number for which I know the correct definition. It's always a pleasant surprise when I go out on a limb and use one I think is appropriate, and it turns out to be particularly good in context. In a recent conversation I tried this with "austere" and it was just right. More than once I've completely misused a word.

14. I haven't bought anything off of eBay in at least three months. This wouldn't be that surprising except that I've probably won some 200 auctions over the last decade there.

15. I claim to never watch TV but can't say that without many caveats. I am fairly current on a small handful of shows, and would like to be so on a few others, but I only ever watch them online. The last time I deliberately watched a TV show at the same time it was being broadcast was the episode of The Simpsons that followed a SuperBowl and preceded the (horrible) pilot of American Dad. I also watch a great number of shows on DVD, and even own a few.

16. I own a couple laserdisc players, and some 100 laserdiscs or so. I haven't watched one in a while, and the number of them that I can't replace with DVDs dwindles every year. I got into them in the month that everybody but Pioneer stopped making them, and picked up a great many of them for a dollar or two. The rest, primarily Criterion Collection discs, were grabbed here and there at resale shops. I don't recall paying any attention to them in the days when they could be bought new in stores or rented.

17. In 2007, on a lark, I willingly and deliberately watched over 60 Bollywood movies. Apparently this makes me some sort of guru in the eyes of the other white suburbanites.

18. I'd like to drive a classic 70s muscle car or two sometime.

19. On the average, I consider myself to be a better driver than most people who consider themselves better than average.

20. I've had two bikes stolen over the years. The second one was even locked to a rack.

21. I think I got the MVP award for Academic Challenge my senior year of high school out of some sort of misplaced pity - I wasn't really that big a contributor to our (less than stellar) scoring. I've never done anything with the corresponding fabric varsity letter other than file it away.

22. I can't help but proofread the things I read, finding typos and other mistakes. Which is all the more ironic because the first time I published this, having read through it a number of times, both #2 and #22 were exactly the same. It's not like I used an apostrophe wrong, but still...

23. As a kid I loved to doodle. Somewhere in the intervening years I lost the ability to doodle new things, and often find myself drawing the same cars I used to draw back then, other than the odd website layout.

24. My handwriting has not improved one bit since seventh grade.

25. The same may well be true for my writing in general - I was an adequate writer back then, from what I've seen since.

(Thanks, Morydd, for being the tipping point in me finally doing this.)


* I originally planned to put "I put two #8s in this list" in the middle somewhere, but fortunately thought of something else to write for that last salacious factoid.

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