100 things about me

last update April 2016

This is inspired by pages by Bret Holmes and Jessamyn West.
  1. I was born and grew up in Pullman Washington, except ages 4-7, when I was in Rockville Maryland.
  2. I was baptized Catholic, and when the priest said "Let all evil spirits now leave him," I burped.
  3. Most of my ancestry is German and Irish/British, but a quarter is French Canadian, which includes some Algonquin and Viking.
  4. I can't have that much American Indian ancestry since it came through my red haired grandfather, but I was born with a tan.
  5. I consider myself at the core of Generation X: I was 2 when Sesame Street started, almost 10 when Star Wars came out, and 15 when MTV got big.
  6. I learned to read before I was 3, and before I ever saw a TV. I would ask my mom "What does that word look like?"
  7. The first book I read by myself was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl, at age five. To this day I have the value system of Mr. Fox. (I didn't like the movie.)
  8. When I was about six, watching Bewitched, I noticed that Darrin appeared in the credits as both Dick York and Dick Sargent, but I couldn't tell them apart, so I thought the actor had changed his name.

  9. I have two BA's from the University of Washington, in English lit and Philosophy. They don't mean much to me. Other students said English was an easy major and Philosophy was a hard one, but for me it was the opposite.
  10. I have a lifetime 4.0 grade point average in math classes, from seventh grade to two years beyond calculus. But I don't especially like math.
  11. I hated playing sports as a kid because I was really bad. I'm still bad but now I like it. I wish I had played more.
  12. I didn't learn to throw with my wrist until I was 30 and someone gave me explicit instruction.
  13. Even in stuff I'm good at, I'm a slow worker.
  14. I only ever wrote three papers that I really enjoyed, and two of them got me my two lowest grades in college. That's why I didn't go to grad school.
  15. For more than 20 years I had occasional nightmares where I was back in college and suddenly remembered that I had completely forgotten about one or two of my classes. I've met a few people who didn't get that nightmare, because they actually did that in college.
  16. I think my writing skill is mostly editing skill. When I'm writing or speaking, I'm constantly aware of the danger that I'm boring the audience.
  17. If I were a film director, my director's cuts would be shorter than the originals. I'd be like, "The studio forced me to put in all this boring filler."
  18. If boredom means feeling pain because I have to pay attention to something uninteresting, I'm easily bored. If boredom means feeling pain because I have nothing to do, I'm never bored.
  19. Sometimes I fantasize about being in solitary confinement because of all the free time.

  20. I love personality tests. In Myers Briggs I'm INTP, but don't take my word for it because everyone wants to be INTP now. A lot of S's self-type as N's because they don't understand N enough to know that they don't have it. If N bit them on the ass they would mistake it for F.
  21. Different tests will sometimes type me as J, F, or even E, but never S. My favorite test is this one by Sonja Elen Kisa.
  22. In Five Factor I'm high Openness, high Conscientiousness, low Extraversion, average Agreeableness, and low Neuroticism.
  23. But I think "conscientiousness" blurs different things and should be divided. I live life like a strategy game, which means I'm really messy when neatness has no practical value.
  24. In Enneagram I'm 5w4 1w9 3w4 soc/sx, and I'm also high in 7 and 9. All odd, no even!
  25. I can't relate to the idea that people are trying to fill an emptiness inside. Inside I feel healthy and complete.
  26. But the outside world feels really unreasonably difficult. The rules are unclear, it's always making demands on my attention, and the important stuff seems to happen on a nearly invisible level.
  27. Calling a stranger on the phone frightens me more than speaking in front of a huge audience.
  28. I would rather have someone secretly watching me than someone openly demanding my attention.
  29. I don't feel like time is something that has to be filled. I feel like time is something that has to be kept empty.

  30. I enjoy video games because unlike reality, they're designed to be interesting. And I wonder if the drabness of reality serves a purpose, or if it's accidental and we have a lot of room to improve it.
  31. I never understood addiction until I got addicted to PC games. Civilization II and Gemcraft have been the most addictive, but not the most fun.
  32. You know when you have to do something you really dread, like doing your taxes or washing the dishes, and when you finally force yourself to do it, it's like pushing through a wall of pain? When I was getting off Civ 2, I felt like that all the time for three days.
  33. My all time favorite games are Zelda Ocarina of Time, Heroes of Might and Magic II, and Lords of the Realm II.
  34. I've also played a ton of Minesweeper and Windows Freecell, and I'm really good at them.
  35. My dream game would be like Lords of the Realm II with the complexity of Dwarf Fortress and the combat of Mount & Blade.

  36. The song lyric that best reflects my sex life is from Pledging My Time by Bob Dylan: "Somebody got lucky, but it was an accident."
  37. I was single for most of my life. My mistake was to pick out one person at a time and focus narrowly on trying to be with her, instead of broadly observing to quickly notice when someone was into me.
  38. Also it took me a long time to learn instinctive touching. Even now that I can do it, I don't understand how I'm doing it. And if something so important is outside the realm of rational thought, rational thought seems pretty worthless.
  39. I never once saw my parents show affection for each other. I didn't find out until much later that this wasn't normal.
  40. I'm most attracted to bratty pouty women, so it's a good thing they're never attracted to me.
  41. Scientists have identified two kinds of love between couples. My girlfriend and I have achieved the deep enduring kind, but the intense early kind has always worked against me.

  42. I have 31 teeth. I lost one by drinking too much apple juice without immediately rinsing my mouth.
  43. I used to buy gallons of apple juice and intentionally let them ferment and get fizzy before drinking them. I thought it was like healthy soda, but it's not healthy.
  44. I am pretty badly nearsighted. My eyes kept getting worse as long as I kept getting 20-20 corrections, and stopped getting worse when I stopped getting new prescriptions. This is why I won't wear full strength glasses or get laser surgery.
  45. I have two pairs of glasses, one that corrects me to 20-40 for distance vision, and a weaker pair for the computer. I wear no glasses to read books.
  46. My favorite colors are in the red-orange-yellow range, plus black.
  47. I almost always wear black jeans, and go a long time without washing them.
  48. My favorite fruits are tart cherries and peaches. My favorite vegetables are actually fruits.
  49. I like the taste of meat drippings better than anything else. If I were rich, I would buy lots of meat just to cook the drippings out and then throw away the meat part.
  50. I have made over a thousand pies from scratch, mostly apple.

  51. I use only hot water to clean my hair, and I've been cutting it myself since college.
  52. I converted my bike to a singlespeed before I knew that was a thing. I just noticed that I was riding mostly in the same gear and it would be simpler if I took off the derailleurs.
  53. I also installed rubber pedals so I can ride barefoot. I grip the pedals with my toes and it works better than shoes with toe clips.
  54. I always go barefoot when I can get away with it, including walking around the city if the pavement isn't too hot or cold.
  55. I started going barefoot in the city on September 11, 2001. For me, the sudden awareness that I could die at any moment was liberating.
  56. When I have to wear shoes, I wear Vibram FiveFingers or Keens. When you go to a wide toe box, you can't go back.
  57. I have restless legs syndrome. Sometimes I just have to do a thousand ankle rotations before I can fall asleep, and sometimes I have to spend a half hour a day doing one-legged heel lifts and squats to get any good sleep. I feel lucky that I'm forced to do exercises that are really good for me.
  58. When I'm walking and going around corners, I always feel like my left and right turns have to balance out. For example, if I'm going down a stairwell, I should spin around the other direction on every other landing. As an adult, I overrule this impulse but it never goes away.
  59. I feel the urge to travel, and it's good for me, but while I'm doing it I'm mostly cold, tired, and hungry. The only time I traveled without losing weight, I made an apple pie almost every day.
  60. I've always dreamed of traveling across North America on foot, with a group of friends, after civilization collapses.
  61. I've taken four giant trips around the USA, two by bus and train and two by car.
  62. I hate driving, because everyone seems to be going much too fast and it takes so much mental effort to not crash.
  63. Being a passenger is OK. I still feel like we're about to crash, but it's not my responsibility.
  64. I drive obsessively for fuel economy. I once got 16mpg going cross-country in a Ryder truck.
  65. I have never had an overdue library book.
  66. I seem to be the last person in America who has never been charged interest, and as far as I can tell I have no credit rating.
  67. I have never deeply smoked a cigarette, been throw-up drunk, or tripped on a psychedelic drug.
  68. Psilocybin mushrooms give me strong body effects but no head trip, but over the next couple weeks I feel smarter, like my brain has been rebooted.
  69. I like the taste of alcohol but I don't like being drunk. I get no euphoria and it dulls my mental focus, which is the best thing about being me.
  70. At first I didn't like marijuana because I thought it just made me stupid, but that's because I was using it socially. When I use it alone in a dim room listening to music, it can be the best thing ever.
  71. Marijuana helps me hear music by making me aware of smaller intervals of time, like a time microscope. It also helps me hear the complexity of many instruments playing at once.
  72. I never understood jazz until I heard it high. My favorite stoner jazz album is The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus.
  73. I'm a conscientious marijuana user: I buy it legally, stock up when the prices are low, never run out, use it only once or twice a week, vaporize or eat but never smoke, plan music to listen to and evaluate, and write my thoughts in a journal.
  74. If I had a billion dollars, I would fund research for a drug to instantly reset marijuana tolerance. If such a drug existed, I would get extremely high three nights a week and otherwise be stone sober.
  75. I would trade ten IQ points for synesthesia where I could listen to music and see colors. Maybe twenty.

  76. Around my 47th birthday I got a motorcycle license and bought a scooter. I won't get a real motorcycle because I don't feel coordinated enough to ride safely while also shifting gears.
  77. I like to close the visor and sing while I'm riding. My current favorites are "Dead Song" and "Away Pt III" by Big Blood.
  78. Since discovering Big Blood in summer of 2014, they've become my favorite band by such a wide margin that when I'm listening to other music I'm always imagining how it would sound if Big Blood covered it. For a while I was spending more time on my page about them than on my blog.
  79. Because of my blog, people assume I like music with a message about society, but I mostly hate it.

  80. The birthday that made me feel the oldest was 26.
  81. I have almost made it from kid to old dude without ever passing through middle age.
  82. I couldn't get fat if I tried. If I eat too much fat I get symptoms like food poisoning. If I eat too much sugar I get extreme thirst. If I eat too many calories my body overheats in the middle of the night to burn it off. And I sometimes have an overwhelming urge to go for a run.
  83. I got my wisdom teeth when I was 16. They fit in my mouth nicely. I use them for chewing. I almost have room behind them for four more.
  84. I can lick my left elbow. It's because my left shoulder can come out of its socket -- my tongue is pretty short.
  85. I have thick leg hair and almost no chest hair. So my legs seldom feel cold and my chest often does.
  86. As I get older, cold bothers me less.
  87. I like to sleep in a cold room with a lot of blankets and my feet sticking out to radiate excess heat. I get cold around midnight, hot around 4am, and cold again at sunrise.
  88. I practice two kinds of meditation. When I have trouble sleeping I see how long I can go without any thoughts. Typically I go five seconds or less repeatedly, and it eventually gets me to sleep.
  89. The other kind is mindfulness. My trick is to try to live every moment imagining that my stream of experience is the POV in a music video.
  90. Another trick I use to fall asleep is to count wishes. I use different rules, like sometimes I imagine I have full cheat codes for reality, and other times the wishes have to be somewhat realistic. I usually don't even get to ten.
  91. I try to be horizontal for ten hours every day, including naps.
  92. Sometimes I think sleep is the purpose of life, and the only purpose of being awake is to get food and shelter to enable more sleeping.

  93. I'm an expert on woo-woo stuff. I think it's the nature of certain kinds of experience that they refute the distinction between subjective and objective.
  94. My favorite paranormal author is John Keel, and George Hansen's "The Trickster and the Paranormal" was a big influence.
  95. If I could have any super power, I'd like to be able to shift among alternate worlds like in a Roger Zelazny novel. But then when I think about it, it's the shift that's fun and not actually being in the alternate world.
  96. I'm sure that when I was a teenager, the song "White Rabbit" had the line "Feed your head" three times at the end, and now it's only two. Other people have reported the same thing happening with the Berenstain/Berenstein Bears.
  97. The closest I've come to a transcendent experience was the first time I saw The Matrix, when Neo woke up in the vat on the tower.
  98. Two other movies put me in a mental space afterwards where the world seemed unspeakably wonderful and anything I wanted to do seemed possible. This feeling lasted about half an hour before it went away. It was Point Break and Groundhog Day.
  99. Once a painting made me cry, one of Monet's Wheatstacks. This raises a deep question: how can a painting of wheatstacks affect a person more powerfully than actual wheatstacks?
  100. A friend once told me that I look at the world as if I've never seen it before. But I never have seen it before! I feel like I just got here and I'm still trying to figure it out.