25 random things

January 30, 2009
So something making the rounds at Facebook is the "25 Random Things" meme:

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

So I decided to spend the first minutes of my first day of not-quite-employment doing the following naval gazing:
  1. I'm a bit flummoxed by facebook's interface.... aspects of Wall-to-Wall, where to pick who's stuff is more likely to show up on my page, are always kind of hit or miss
  2. Actually, especially for being a techie, I tend to be a bit interface-blind. I too-quickly form an idea of how something "should" work, based on stuff I've seen before, and if it has a different workflow or even button layout, I'm often stuck for way too long.
  3. By the age of 8 I'd lived in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Island of St. Thomas, Salamanca NY, and Glens Falls NY. A few years later it was back to Cleveland, then Boston for college, where I've been kicking around ever since.
  4. I love that weird, ozone-y smell you can get by sticking your nose into freezers at the supermarket.
  5. A theme of my life seems to be not wanting to be responsible for something going wrong. So I'm very slow to pick up new commitments, but once I have them, I'm very committed
  6. Another theme of my life has been avoiding things that puncture my fragile ego about how smart I am. Better to not try that hard and leave uncertainty there, then put in a concerted effort and come up short.
  7. My iPhone does many things but probably the single most *important* is the To Do application. Followed by phone, semi-ubiquitous web, datebook, music, random memos, timer, calculator.
  8. Re: not bearing to be "wrong" - I'm very careful in my language. See how I said "probably" in that last note? Plus, I use a lot of "it seems to me" and "looks like" type ducking.
  9. Also, I tend to be non-judgmental. Almost no one is the bad guy of their own story, they might have different goals and starting assumptions, but they're probably doing the best they can.
  10. Jane recently paraphrased her parents as saying about me: "we're just old people, but he listens to what we say and reacts". I'm that way with most everyone.
  11. I seem to have a touch of something like dyslexia, or maybe just synesthesia. Typing (or handwriting!) I'll swap "m"s and "b"s. And certain numbers evoke certain letters... I have the paper from when I was very young, writing my name "KI4K". See, "four" -> R. ("Five" -> F).
  12. In the late 90s and beyond, I felt that my independent web projects were a big boon to me as a professional developer. But now I'm worried all that stuff got me stuck in my ways, that I write everything in a mid-90s style.
  13. In fact, in general I seem dismayingly slow to pick up new computer languages and toolkits and such. These things are more powerful than my closer to "handmade" methods, but harder to understand well enough to fix when they don't do what you want.
  14. I wrote an original game, all in assembly language, for the Atari 2600, JoustPong, as a retro project in 2003-4. Sometimes I worry that the focus and work this took cost me my marriage, though that might be mixing cause and effect.
  15. Over the past few years I've gotten into making small games, like at glorioustrainwrecks.com, with its "write a game in 2 hours" events. I find this satisfying but worry that my gamewriting ambitions tend to scale down to this 2 hour box.
  16. I'd rather be famous than rich. I wish I was doing something to make myself famous.
  17. I played tuba in my church band and throughout highschool and college.
  18. The music I miss playing the most is the dumb, fun stuff from marching band.
  19. I've embraced my musical primitivist that's interested in 3 things about music: 1. Funk-ish, high contrast rhythms, 2. Lyrics 3. Catchy musical hooks. This list does not really extend to harmony or melody, except maybe the hook bit.
  20. I do a mean human beatbox. It's pretty good, really. Though the best tricks (mostly, doing lost of fill) I learned from a skinny white kid, Zack, in Cleveland.
  21. I do a bit of online dating but... I dunno. Secretly it's the kid issue that concerns me the most, tying into the responsibility-fearing thing. But also the general issue of find enough of a mutual awesomeness admiration society. And someone who can embrace, or live with, my inner child and has one of her own.
  22. I'm a great "uncle" though. I think it goes back to that "listen and react" thing. I mean you need to understand that kids don't operate just as "small adults" but they seem to appreciate being listened to.
  23. Fundamentally I (and other members of my family) are "attention seeking introverts", very self-aware, and entertaining in social settings, but sometimes a bit worn out with a lot of interactions
  24. Friends of mine sometimes think I come across as only interested in myself. I think that's not quite a fair accusation. But, I do assume quiet people will say as much as they feel comfortable saying! They read my lack of prompting as a lack of interest, so I've been trying to adjust that lack of prompting.
  25. I decided to go through these 25 things rather than fret about my recent (soon-to-be) lack of employment.
I wouldn't mind seeing the 25 for my Mom, Aunt, EB, and LAN3, none of whom I'm connected to on Facebook -- so no pressure, but leave a comment if so inclined. (Come to think of it, pretty much any kisrael reader I'd be interested in...)

I'll follow that up with Things I'd Like To Get Done During This Unemployment:
  1. Declutter, declutter, declutter
  2. Revamp kisrael.com
  3. Get this one independent project done
  4. Keep up with exercise
  5. Get my long term Todo list down to, like, 20 or so items
  6. Get a new, good job to end the unemployment.

My buddy JZ (no not that Jay-Z) is about the only person I know who's really good at recommending songs I'll dig, he's batting about .700
JZ's latest recommendation: King Curtis' Memphis Soul Stew
Two layoff bad omens for me: one is when my company moves to a shiny new office. The other is when my commute seems fantastic. DOOM FOLLOWS
I guess humans are the only species that cook? Is it recent, evolutionarily speaking? Is enjoying cooked foods an evolutionary advantage?
I like the word "dig". It's compact, faintly retro, and suggests a deeper understanding in the way "like" or "enjoyed" doesn't.
I wonder why I get a perfect cell signal downstairs at Park Street station.
Game Jam! At the Signapore/Gambit lab. Actually sponsored by Singapore.
As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems