Preface: I mostly think these chain things are stupid, but since I enjoyed a few of yours, I felt obligated to reciprocate. If you’re reading this on my site or RSS, sorry, it’s mainly intended for Facebook; I just wanted it archived elsewhere too.
Official Rules, if you decide to do so: Once you’ve been tagged, you write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You must tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I already received your list (thanks!) or I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.) You can do it in pieces. Just click on save, and you can come back later and do more.
1. I’m pathologically indecisive; choosing to do X means closing doors on anything that is not X. Therefore I take some comfort in the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, because in other universes I could still be exploring those roads not taken.
2. I have, shall we say, a rich mental life. One aspect is that there’s usually an ‘other’ to whom my inner chatter is directed. Sometimes it’s a real person I know, sometimes it’s a composite or even more abstract – not a person but another perspective.
3. I’m wondering whether I can get through 25 things about me without someone alerting Creedmoor Psychiatric Center – located conveniently up the street from my home.
4. When I was a kid, #2 manifested itself as imaginary friends. They were so real to me that one day I came home from school to an empty house (latchkey kid) and poured TWO glasses of juice before I realized nobody was there to take the other one. It made me feel lonely, but not ashamed.
5. I have little use for nostalgia. Or at least I don’t seem to experience it as others do. Maybe because I feel the current era of my life is always the best. And even if it isn’t, I’d rather work on improving my situation than live in the past.
6. I hate winter time more every year. The darkness tends to depress me (seasonal affective disorder?) and I hate having to wear bulky layers of garments.
7. The fact that I need sunlight to be happy is absurd, because otherwise I’m not the least bit outdoorsy.
8. I think I got outdoorsiness out of my system before turning 17. With scouts we went camping once a month, even in the dead of winter.
9. I came close to becoming an eagle scout, but I didn’t finish and don’t regret it. My interests simply shifted.
10. I feel lucky that I learned computer programming at a young age. That kind of problem solving has always been fun for me, so it seems perfectly suited to my talent and temperament.
11. In grade school, we were asked to draw a picture of what we wanted to be or do as an adult. I drew a lovely, intricate picture of a doctor’s office and me with a stethoscope and related paraphernalia. After coming home, I was angry with myself. I tore up the drawing and made another one, all in one color (green, I think), of a room full of big 70s-era computer systems, and me typing at the terminal. The second drawing was uglier, but it was the truth.
12. I was not very savvy about applying to college, which is surprising to my friends from high-end prep schools where 90% go to Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, etc. I applied to exactly one university – early decision at Johns Hopkins – which I chose because it was nearby and seemed to be prestigious. I didn’t have any backup plan, but I didn’t need one.
13. I enjoy travel, and (apart from carrying a camera bag) I prefer to “go native” as much as possible. I’ll be wandering around Paris, for example, and have people stop me to ask for directions (in French). This kind of travel is very interesting, but not always relaxing. Sometimes it’s nice just to be pampered at a resort. Or so I’m told.
14. I’ve been to England, Scotland, Ireland, France (incl. Corsica), Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Australia, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada, and Japan.
15. High-priority destinations I have not seen yet include Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the southwest U.S. (never been to Arizona or New Mexico).
16. I have lived only in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New York. Plus 4 months in southern California when I was in 2nd grade and 3 months in northern California in 1999; so maybe they add up to something.
17. When I went to college, I met many friends from the NYC area. I thought they were snobs about their hometown, but now I live at the center of the world too.
18. A highlight of travel for me (and of living in NYC) is experiencing fantastic food cultures and restaurants.
19. A bank web site asking for favorite food, movie, artist, etc. as a “security question” is ludicrous. Never mind that security questions are inherently insecure; are your tastes and experiences so stagnant that you’d answer the question the same way every time for months and years on end?
20. I have always been a fan and advocate of public radio. Lately, I listen almost entirely via podcast (like TiVo for radio), but independent podcasts now occupy an impressive slice of the pod too.
21. I donate to WNYC public radio, the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU, Americans United for the separation of church and state, the Democratic National Committee (grudgingly sometimes), and occasionally to arts organizations like Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic.
22. My parents have always been amazing. Even when I was a teenager, they were mostly known as “the cool parents” among my friends, not because they were overly permissive, but I think because they were willing to talk and relate to us as peers.
23. My brother and I have similar tastes and outlook on some things, but we’re polar opposites on many others.
24. For a brief time around 1999, I found the idea of having kids to be somewhat desirable, but this didn’t last long. With global population growth rates, there will be less suffering if cultures fully embrace childlessness and adoption as alternative paths to happiness, on par with procreating. (I’m sure it’s a coincidence that I just watched the Simpsons episode with SSCCATAGAPP: Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples And Teens And Gays Against Parasitic Parents, LOL.)
25. It may be partly because my parents are so great that I don’t feel the need to spawn. We’ve reached the pinnacle of parenthood, so there’s nothing more to do. :)