December 22, 2005

100 Things About Me

I got the idea for this post from another personal blog I stumbled upon with a little Firefox plugin called, shockingly, StumbleUpon. I found this woman's post to be engaging and informative, and decided then and there to start my own. Over the past two months I have added little bits and pieces to this post, and now it is finally ready for my adoring public*!

*The definition of "adoring" is subject to change without notice, and my "public" may or may not consist of a group of 2 people.

  1. I am a "realistic idealist." I was awfully good at attaining ideals till I got sick. Now they tend to get in the way sometimes.
  2. I am Christian, Methodist specifically, and do not take my faith lightly. I probably fit more neatly into the Lutheran church due to the level of formality they tend to choose, but I do not so much fit as a Catholic because I do not believe in the veneration of the virgin Mary as seems to take place within that church to a strong degree. If either of my Catholic priest cousins happen to read this, leave a comment. I'd love to discuss this issue in detail with either or both of you.
  3. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Neurally Mediated Hypotension, both to a degree that prevent my leading a normal life at this time.
  4. I am a political moderate. I relish the opportunity to engage in debate and am not afraid to change my mind for good reasons.
  5. I find it difficult and frustrating to discuss politics with the vast majority of people on a level that has any intellectual merit. This has nothing to do with the intelligence of people really. Somehow, politics just works differently for whatever reason.
  6. My athletic ability should probably be classified as average, or just above average. I am a good or sometimes best player on something like a church team, but am a bit below average on a school sports team. I excel in coordination-oriented athletic activities as opposed to those requiring raw strength, speed, or aggressiveness.
  7. I have, for some reason, never liked almost any kind of popular music. I don't hate it, I just really get nothing out of it.
  8. I don't drink or smoke. I now have good medical reasons for not doing so, but I wouldn't have done either anyway.
  9. I have never had a pack mentality.
  10. I like good food, like cooking, and like trying new dishes.
  11. I am not particularly good at trivia games.
  12. I have savant-like Mario-kart driving abilities.
  13. I do not truly have a favorite song. I like a great many things on different merits, some of which you can listen to in my music category
  14. I am far more open-minded than I appear at a glance.
  15. I love Terps basketball. I like the Ravens, Redskins, and Orioles and watch a healthy amount of tennis, but Terps basketball trumps all the rest.
  16. I am good with arts and crafts, and I don't think my masculinity is threatened by it either.
  17. My favorite show is The Simpsons, but only until 1999. The last 7 years may as well be a different series entirely.
  18. Despite the fact that I'm a pretty conservative guy when it comes to most values, I love the show South Park and watch it regularly.
  19. I would rather invent a silly game and invite people over to play than go to conventional party.
  20. I love being on the water, but I prefer non-motorized means of achieving this goal, such as canoeing.
  21. I am afraid of spiders. Well, the word is really revolted. I don't think they'll hurt me, I am just disgusted by them.
  22. When I started writing on this blog I figured I would rarely update it. Now it's just part of what I do, and I think it has helped me get better at writing through CFS to a limited degree. Actually, I used to be really private, and my health has essentially forced me to open up, so it's something of a circle. I think that's a good thing, but I'm probably still fairly private by most measures.
  23. I am fascinated with the ancient (western) world. There is something incredibly visceral about it, in writing, art, warfare, you name it. I'm sure the ancient east is interesting as well, but I haven't really spent any time looking into it.
  24. I prefer reading fiction that is about something greater than just a story. The Dune series is my favorite line of books. Ender's Game is right up there as well.
  25. I feel intellectually superior more than I would like, and I feel bad about it.
  26. I believe in doing what is right despite personal consequences or even overriding futility, and I back it up regularly.
  27. My favorite kind of ice cream is lemon. Not lemon sherbet, mind you. Lemon ice cream. They are quite different.
  28. I arrive at conclusions by examining logical extremes first and working to the middle. I have a lot of trouble translating my views to others using this method, because most people hear the first logical extreme and then label me without truly listening to the rest.
  29. I hate, and I mean hate slasher-type horror movies.
  30. I believe in basing relationships of all kinds with respect first.
  31. Frustration is one of the most challenging thing I have to deal with, mainly because of my present health situation.
  32. I was never a cool kid, and I never much cared either except for a brief period in 8th grade. I think I am the cool kid in a church setting if such a thing is possible.
  33. My style of humor is typically dry and tends to focus on blowing things out of proportion to the point of absurdity, such as suggesting that someone fail out of school so they can come over and hang out.
  34. I have blue eyes, but my right eye has a little sliver of brown near the top of the iris that you can't see unless you take a close look.
  35. I love taking walks but can't really handle them anymore due to my having NMH. On the plus side, I will like them (and a great many other things) even more when things turn around to any degree.
  36. I think it is reasonable to classify myself as a classical vocal music expert in most circles.
  37. I hate olives. I have tried to like them but it just doesn't work.
  38. I never was really much into having heroes, but I think Pete Sampras counts as one. He set the record for consecutive weeks as the #1 men's tennis player while coping with a blood condition that sapped his stamina.
  39. I formed two clubs in my youth, one in elementary school and the other in middle school.
  40. I am a perfectionist, and I'm not sure why that is not considered a positive trait. I suppose that to me, electing to do a job poorly is much like cooking a chicken half way through and saying that's the only way to do it. Think I'm wrong? Leave a comment with your reasoning.
  41. I feel pretty confident that I handle adversity as well as is humanly possible.
  42. I gain both confidence and frustration from the realization that nobody I know has really seen me at my best, and that most have not seen me anywhere near it.
  43. I like cheese-flavored goldfish crackers better than Cheese-Its or similar products. This little revelation just changed your life, didn't it? Darn right it did.
  44. I have only gotten really angry maybe three times in my life, but when it happens, the look in my eye scares people.
  45. I always used to say I didn't care about things but I think, in truth, that I cared about everything. Maybe it was just a way of handling stress, or a way to dismiss high school music group politics as the garbage they were.
  46. I am an organizer and leader, but in a somewhat atypical way. I think my organizational ability and decisiveness in doing it makes me a leader by default, though some of this has changed since my health problems arose.
  47. I don't lie to people, and I don't avoid the responsibility of telling a hard truth to someone if it needs to happen. I even have a hard time sometimes saying something friendly about something I don't like, such as a musician or band, in the course of ordinary conversation, but I'm working on that.
  48. I love classical recorder music.
  49. It bothers me that I cannot cogently support my arguments and opinions much of the time despite the fact that I know it's not my fault that I am unable to do so during those times.
  50. I am very good at using my physical momentum to my advantage, which has allowed me to continue with sporting activities through CFS problems.
  51. I like learning new skills, and I do my best to master them through whatever means are at my disposal. For instance, I have picked up some decent knife skills from watching the Food Network despite the fact that I can't cook but once or twice a month.
  52. I love the Romano dressing at Pizza Hut. It is the best salad dressing ever.
  53. I built this family website in the hopes it would bring people closer together, and also so I could learn about other family members despite my health problems.
  54. I have a line of Christian note cards. I want to sell them on Ebay or on a business site I'm working on for myself, but I need to wait for my copyright papers to be processed first.
  55. I enjoy nature photography.
  56. I play D&D. That's right, D&D. It's fun, and you would like it too if you gave it a try. I am about to start a new campaign of my own devising based in an ancient Mediterranean-style setting but with magic and the like.
  57. I have gotten a lot of people to play D&D, including Miss New York from a few years back, who also happens to be on the soap, Passions right now.
  58. I seem to possess an unnatural talent at hitting a tennis ball so that it clips the net and falls over the other side. I can't do it on command, but it happens a lot.
  59. My favorite restaurants are the Cheesecake Factory, Listas, and the Cheshire Crab, even though I can't stand the head chef/manager of the last one.
  60. I was really into legos as a kid. I even won some prizes in local competitions. I think my legos are still around somewhere, but I'm not sure. I would love to have them for my kids some day, because they just don't make them the same way anymore.
  61. Mary Poppins is my favorite musical. I suppose it is not technically a musical since it was never performed on a stage, but it still counts.
  62. La Bohème is my favorite opera, partly because I was in it, but mostly because it flows together so brilliantly and passionately.
  63. I love Handel oratorio, but despite that Mendelssohn's Elijah remains my favorite oratorio of them all. Much like La Bohème, Elijah connects each recitative and aria beautifully and tells an epic story in an epic way.
  64. I think I was built for marriage. I have never been remotely afraid of either the commitment or the compromise.
  65. I taught myself how to program in Basic when I was about 11.
  66. I want to sing classical or jazz music professionally. I am pretty sure I could do it, but my health prevents it for now. On the plus side, I still take voice lessons. I feel that anything I can learn now will get a ton better with better health, because I have to fight through so many hurdles to get a good result currently.
  67. I like eggs, but they make me slightly queasy. This only happens if they are served alone, not when they are mixed into things.
  68. I am a good table tennis player.
  69. When I go out to eat, I like to get a cherry coke with my meal, but only if they mix it in-house as opposed to using "Cherry Coke" from a bottle.
  70. I like to know where people stand when it comes to relationships of any kind, and I imagine there is pretty much no question about where I stand from others' viewpoints.
  71. I think Keanu Reeves is a terrible actor. Wait, this one might not count, because everybody thinks this, right?
  72. When I face a setback, my instinct is to try to counteract it by doing something positive.
  73. I have never at any point in my life been tempted by drugs of any kind. In fact, I have never even been offered drugs of any kind. I think people can just tell what I'm about and choose not to bother.
  74. I have liked computer games since I was a kid playing Commodore 64 games at my friend G.B.'s house. These days I play them quite a lot in order to stay busy when I don't feel well. My preferences tend toward roleplaying and strategy games, but despite that, my favorite games of all time are Commodore Soccer and Mariokart 64.
  75. I watch the movie White Christmas every holiday season at least once, and I seem to be able to find it without even looking ahead some of the time.
  76. I live on the water in Pasadena, MD. I love the safety, scenery and general friendliness of the area, but otherwise Pasadena isn't where I ideally belong.
  77. I often assume teaching roles for all sorts of things, but at the same time I would be unlikely to take a position as a classroom-style teacher.
  78. Despite the fact that I face the most adversity out of the people I happen to know, I am always the last person to give up on anything and am usually the first to try again.
  79. I want to learn how to dance. I don't much care about the club kind of dancing, but I love other "ballroom" types and have had enough experience with choreography to think I might enjoy swing dancing too.
  80. I haven't played basketball for a while due to a lack of participants, but when I did I was always the guy who would make shots more when people tried to distract me with a cheap yell or push. There's something really satisfying about seeing a shot go through the basket when your back is flat on the court.
  81. When given the choice, I tend to pick even numbers over odd ones.
  82. I love to go outside when everyone is asleep and look at the sky. I'm definitely a night person.
  83. You may often encounter me with some form of beard, but here's the truth of it - I hate having one. I only have a beard when I am too tired to shave. It even bothers me when people comment on it any way at all, because it calls attention to my being too tired to get rid of it.
  84. What a lot of people don't realize is that the reason I can't do a lot of activities is not because of an immediate difficulty, but rather the repercussions of that activity the next day and beyond. This can easily escalate into a snowball effect that can do me long-term or even permanent harm. So, when I can do something like play tennis but not get on the roof and clean out the gutter, it is not because I physically am incapable of getting up there, it is because of the price of doing so the next day. Tennis happens to have a far lower price attached to it than most daily activities. It still has a price, as does everything, but it is low enough to make the reward worth attaining.
  85. I see a sort of physical manifestation of my faith in God through nature.
  86. I have never really doubted my Christian faith. I question it on an intellectual level, but my actual core faith has never truly been shaken.
  87. I can't get enough cream of broccoli soup.
  88. I am fiercely and most often permanently loyal.
  89. I am a fully sanctioned and government licensed healthologist. What, you want to see my credentials? Well, you can't. They're at the dry cleaners.
  90. I cannot recall having ever changed my hairstyle.
  91. I only started watching a lot of tv when my health situation entered the scene.
  92. I don't change the way I act around different people.
  93. There are few things better than a freshly formatted and "cleanly-installed" computer. Since you will now never speak to me again, I shall take this moment to say how much our relationship has meant to me. I will miss you all.
  94. I can scat, and I dare say I am rather good at it. I would like to pursue training in order to expand my flexibility with more modern jazz forms, but that is unlikely to happen. Ah well.
  95. I am sometimes too curious about how people's minds work for my own good.
  96. I used to be the "nickname guy", meaning that I used to give everyone nicknames, and they would stick. My powers have faded over the years, but I still have a bit of a niche in specific situations.
  97. I am competitive, in a reasonable way I think.
  98. I'm a really religious person, but looking back, I don't think I have ever really gotten much out of a sermon. I get a ton out of reading though, so I suppose that's ok.
  99. I wear contact lenses. I really need to get a new pair of glasses for those emergency times, since the only pair I have is my first pair from '92 or something.
  100. I whistle and hum all the time, and music is always running through my head.
Posted by Andy at 11:16 PM | Comments (10)