100 random things about me

Ok, here’s another one I’ve put off and put off and can’t anymore: following Candice’s example here, here’s my list of 100 things about me. All factoidy and such, but here it is.

  1. I play the Irish flute and tinwhistle.
  2. My family is complicated: my father is in his third marriage, my mother is in a long-term relationship that would’ve been her third.
  3. I have a sister and two brothers but they’re really a step-sister, step-brother and half-brother.
  4. My parents named me “Richard” because it didn’t have any family connections. At the hospital, my uncle Gary reminded everyone that his middle name was Richard.
  5. My parents and siblings and so on call me “Richard”, not “Rich”. “Rich” was just a nickname from grade school, but no-one outside my family calls me “Richard” now. It’s particularly weird that Candice’s parents call me “Rich”. They do because Candice calls me “Rich”, but they’re parents, so they should call me “Richard”. I’m really glad that I got “Rich” and not “Rick” or “Dick” though.
  6. My middle name is Thomas, after my father.
  7. I’m a non-practicing Zen Buddhist. I believe it all, I just haven’t got my practice restarted after moving to Ottawa.
  8. I lived in Montreal from 1994 to 2001. I don’t quite consider myself a Montrealer anymore but it’s still a huge influence.
  9. I moved to Ottawa in 2001 to work for a little dot-com called e-smith, which was one of the most fun jobs I’ve had. They were bought by Mitel right after I started.
  10. I never intended to be a system administrator. If anything I planned on being a university professor in sociology, an economist, or a social worker (policy level, not case level).

The rest are behind the cut:

  1. I have a class M2 motorcycle learner’s license. I have to turn it into a full M license by 2009 or it expires but I haven’t ridden in a couple of years.
  2. I am a clothes horse and shoe snob. I blame this mostly on my father, who owns a clothing store.
  3. Right now I don’t have a whole lot of clothes because I lost 20 lbs and 2″ off my waist in the first two weeks of school this year.
  4. I grew up in Belleville, Ontario. It’s a cute small city (40,000 people) but I was in a big hurry to get out of there by the end of high school.
  5. I ‘ve flown and landed a small plane solo — i.e., no-one else in the plane, not even an instructor. (A Cessna 152, in St Hubert, QC; I had my student pilot license but never finished, and I’m going to restart at some point.)
  6. My first (incomplete) degree was a B.Mus in Jazz Performance, on the double bass. I still own one, but I never play it.
  7. I switched out of music when I realized I could probably have a successful music career, but not a great one.
  8. The degree I graduated with is a B.A. (Hons) in sociology.
  9. I graduated seven years after I began. In the last few years I usually hung out with grad students, and I dated one of my TAs once. The university was surprisingly accommodating.
  10. I and a bunch of fellow students once occupied the Principal’s office at McGill for three days in protest of increases in student fees.
  11. I’m married to Candice, who I met on the Internet — specifically, on an IRC channel for people doing volunteer tech support for LiveJournal.
  12. Candice moved in with me about two weeks after we started dating because she needed a place. The plan was for her to find one and move out shortly thereafter and then that never happened.
  13. I’m… Haha, no, I’m not telling you about that yet.
  14. I’ve been on IRC regularly for thirteen years now, and in my current set of “home” IRC channels for a decade.
  15. I’m an “automotive enthusiast”. I drive a ’99 Saab 9-3. At this point I’m really sick of it, and I’m ready to get the next car any time now.
  16. Yet I’ve never driven a standard car. (Bike, yes. Not car though.)
  17. I’m a big music fan, and own about 1000 CDs and God only knows how much downloaded music. About 1/2 is rock/pop, and of the rest it’s probably 3/8 Classical, 3/8 Jazz, and 1/4 Irish music. But I own maybe 10 DVDs total.
  18. I host a web forum about tinwhistles. I used to be involved in the day-to-day running of the forum but not so much anymore.
  19. I don’t want children. In part I couldn’t trust myself with that level of responsibility, in part I don’t think I could handle birth defects or development problems at all, and in part I just don’t want the lifetime commitment.
  20. I’m a fan of good food but I don’t usually feel competent in the kitchen, unless I’m doing prep work. I’m good with a chef’s knife.
  21. I am more of a beer and scotch expert than a wine expert although I enjoy drinking all three.
  22. I’ve never broken a bone.
  23. I’ve only been hospitalized to have my adenoids (but not my tonsils) removed as a child.
  24. I was a bit crunchy in my first couple years of University.
  25. I smoked a pipe for a few years. I miss it, but mostly because of the ritual.
  26. I am an ENTP. I am a textbook ENTP.
  27. I have a very short attention span. I have (or “had” in some cases) a lot of hobbies which I never got past “dabbler” on because I got bored and moved onto the next thing.
  28. I read a lot. Mostly non-fiction. Lots of physics, economics, business, sociology, self-help, Buddhism. Of the fiction, there’s little concentrations of Beat writing and detective stories (think Raymond Chandler), otherwise it’s all over the place. And tons of magazines.
  29. I have five o’clock shadow at 9 am.
  30. I’ve never fired a gun but I’d like to.
  31. I can’t swim, at least not the way most people call “swimming”. I wouldn’t drown for a very long time but you’d laugh at me trying.
  32. I really admire octopuses. I liked them before liking octopuses was cool. A part of me really believes that their lifespan is the only reason we humans aren’t just all “workin’ for the legs”.
  33. I used to work on a crisis line. I often feel like I should do it again because I know I could still handle it.
  34. From the outside I look disorganized, but I usually get by just fine left to my own devices.
  35. I’m between jobs right now. I took a couple weeks to get my bearings after leaving school; at first I planned on going back to the IT world, then anything but, and now I’m back on the IT thing again.
  36. I have two cats. Rasha is a Birman and Mouse is a Balinese. Both are adopted from shelters — Rasha from the Montreal SPCA, Mouse from the Ottawa Humane Society. You’d think they were raised together.
  37. If I could go back and redo high school and university with the knowledge of possible professions I have now, I’d probably become a civil engineer.
  38. I live in Westboro, a trendy sort of neighbourhood in Ottawa, Canada. It’s a sleepy neighbourhood as trendy ones go, though, a little too much SUV-stroller for me, and I’d like to move somewhere a bit faster-paced.
  39. But not Montreal. I already did that once. Going back in a different context would be weird, and besides, Quebec is not a great regulatory environment for massage therapists.
  40. I dated a Jehovah’s Witness for a couple of years in high school. I wasn’t one myself but I was receptive to their message.
  41. But nowadays I’m atheist.
  42. Somehow I, uh, I know a lot of, um, power ballads. “Rain Man meets High Fidelity”, said Paul.
  43. I own a tiny toy accordion. I can play a dozen or so Irish tunes on it, enough such that I’d like to get an actual Irish button box and learn them the real way on.
  44. I used to collect vintage computers. I never had anything worth a whole lot, but I had some weird bits, like a Sun 386i. The last one to go out the door was a NeXTStation I gave away a month or so ago to a local collector who has a real collection. I’d only held onto it that long because it was the first computer (at the music faculty at McGill) that I’d used Unix on.
  45. Often people think I am Jewish. (Doubly so in Montreal.) Very, very few realize my heritage is Irish.
  46. Even when I need to be alone, I like to be alone in public, sitting in a cafe or in a busy city park or something. In Montreal I practically lived at a Second Cup just around the corner from my apartment.
  47. I was a roadie for the WWF whenever it came to Belleville when I was in high school. On one night I had to operate a spotlight after someone got sick. I know the secret of wrestling matches.
  48. I can wiggle my ears, roll my tongue, and raise a single eyebrow.
  49. I’m a pretty hairy guy. I’d have been popular in the 70s. Think Tom Selleck.
  50. In university, I was the Music Student Association’s VP External Affairs for two years, and as a result was also the Music representative to the university student union and a fellow of the University senate. 
  51. I don’t have any living grandparents. I never met my father’s father, who was killed by gunfire when he was very young.
  52. I speak very, very little French considering that I lived in Montreal. Not enough to get by in French, that’s for sure.
  53. In grade school when everyone else had a crush on Alyssa Milano mine was on Tracey Gold.
  54. I moved at least once per year from about age 7 to age 16, either one parent or the other.
  55. After my parents divorced, and alternating weeks of custody were clearly not working out, I lived with my father and visited my mother on weekends.
  56. I spent much of junior high hanging out with my cousin Scott, to the point where we might as well have been brothers.
  57. I had a huge crush on a girl from grade 7 through 11. She moved away after that. She sent me a letter once telling me that she didn’t realize how much she’d miss me and then I never heard from her again.
  58. I am a die-hard modernist. Josh Zhixel: “You sure like things that don’t look like things, mendel.”
  59. I’d like to live in a converted warehouse loft someday.
  60. Seven Habits speaks to me.
  61. For a while in university I self-identified as gay. Now, not so much. I still enjoy being fabulous.
  62. I drink a lot of coffee. A lot of coffee.
  63. I type over 120 wpm. In university I did real-time transcriptions of physics lectures for deaf students.
  64. When I was 13 or so, my father, my stepmother, and I spent two weeks touring through Europe. I remember bits and pieces of it, but none of the Big Stuff we saw.
  65. I talk very, very fast. I can’t help it, because otherwise my brain gets backed up.
  66. I have no tattoos and no piercings. I had my ear pierced in a hair salon when I was a teenager. It went very poorly. Never again.
  67. In university I was a vegetarian, but in the end it was the sausages that did me in.
  68. Nowadays I can’t eat most sausages (or most red meat), or milk, or a bunch of other things that are everywhere.
  69. I have crowns on two of my bottom molars. I had them both done at the same time, which was convenient but meant that I didn’t have a “safe” side of my mouth to eat on. It took them about 8 months to settle down completely.
  70. I eat a lot of graham crackers. I tell myself they settle my stomach but really I think they’re just comfort food.
  71. I have no debt.
  72. I’m very glad to be Canadian. I think if it weren’t for the Internet I wouldn’t care much, but I do.
  73. I do my own laundry and ironing, and I can’t imagine Candice ever doing my laundry or ironing because I’m so particular.
  74. I have never given blood because they won’t take mine.
  75. I curl. Last year I played skip on our rookie league rink and we won the league. I also won a coaching session at a curling skills contest as part of the rookies program, but I always felt weird about winning it because the scoring system let me jump ahead of the husband of one of my teammates with one lucky shot. In the end I beat him by one point. I should really just give him the gift certificate.
  76. I’ve skydived before, a tandem jump from 10,000′. It was fun, and I’m glad I did the tandem jump first to experience freefall. I can’t imagine going through all of the training just to do it alone though.
  77. I don’t have favourites of the things most people have favourites of. Food, music, restaurant, movie, and so on? Too many good things to have one that stands out.
  78. If not for an alarm clock or guilt I would spend the entire day in bed. Even then I use the “sleep” function so often it’s really surprising I still have a wife.
  79. I knew how to sew in junior high, but I’ve forgotten everything. I’d like to get a sewing machine to be able to do alterations because otherwise I’m going to make a tailor a very rich man. “Another half-inch in the sleeves, Renaldo.”
  80. I’m slightly, slightly (suspected/self-diag) obsessive-compulsive. I never noticed this on my own, but Candice pointed it out to me very quickly and often. I straighten things.
  81. I have boycrushes off and on. The big one is on Rufus Wainwright.
  82. I feel like I have a responsibility to improve the condition of the world and I have no idea where to start.
  83. I had bright blue hair for a while in university, and then bright unnatural orange for a while after that.
  84. I used to be very weirded out by death. Candice got to visit the cadaver lab at the U of Ottawa when she was in massage school, and I couldn’t stand to hear about it. I realized that that was silly and got over it. Last summer we went to Body Worlds and it was great.
  85. For years and years I wore red low-top Converse Chuck Taylors, but I haven’t in years. When a former coworker of mine found out I’d left the MBA program, she told me she’d always figured me more of a red chucks sort of guy than a business suit.
  86. I love intense weather. Thunderstorms, blizzards, high winds, all that. I’d be a stormchaser if I lived somewhere one chases storms.
  87. I was supposed to wear braces for years, but I was already the unpopular kid in my junior high so I wore my headgear pretty much 24/7 and they were off within a year.
  88. I have a big head in some specific way I can’t quite put my finger on. “One size fits all” hats are too small, but in sized hats I take a large, not an extra-large.
  89. In my first summer of university, I was working back in Belleville, but I missed Montreal so much that I drove up every weekend and lived out of my van, parked in the university residence parking lot.
  90. I enjoy playing video games but I rarely finish them.
  91. I did this list in a single sitting, over the course of four hours and one bottle of wine.

4 responses to “100 random things about me”

  1. Oh, the Second Cup in Montreal. I remember that place. I still remember a lot about my trip to Montreal in 1998. I *LOVED* it there and I still would love to go back one day. Thank you for helping me have that experience!

  2. Just out of curiosity, and not to get too personal here, but when you say you “self-identified as gay,” does that mean you were gay, or thought you were gay, or ? Would you say you are bi now, or just straight? I’m not trying to be rude; I’m genuinely interested in what this means to you. My partner is bi and while I’ve always considered myself straight, I’m not sure that’s strictly true. Would you be willing to elaborate on that?

  3. Eclipse: It’s hard to tell the difference between “was gay” and “thought I was gay” in hindsight. :-) But at that time I was only interested in and involved with men. And one important element of that is that I was politically gay then too, in a gay community that was unfortunately pretty anti-bi (Montreal, late 1990s).

    But hindsight suggests I was bi then, and I am now — compare #21 and #91!

  4. Yeah, I kind of realized the non-difference between “was” and “thought I was” after I said it. But thank you for clarifying; I kind of gathered as much but didn’t want to make any assumptions, besides being interested in your thoughts. And as long as we’re being honest, I have a weakness for bi boys. :)