An Amount of Things

  1. The first thing I would like to tell you about myself, has to do with my family. They are simply the most astoundingly phenomenal family anyone could ask for, and although they may not know it, I love them sincerely. The easiest way for me to describe how awesome they are is to mention that not once, not a single time, did any of them ever miss any performance or school function I was part of. Not once. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with them during high school, and I regret that. I’m trying to make up for it, but it’s an uphill battle.
  2. I like to play music. I’ve been playing the piano for a really long time, and I was involved with the high school marching band, playing in the pit. I am a percussionist that really only played the marimba. I also was in our steel band, where I might have actually danced at some point. Music is something I do just for me though, and I refuse to play for a grade or for money.
  3. I speak German. I’ve been learning for about eight years or so (excluding everything I learned as I kid), and I surprise myself daily with what I know. I even taught a introductory german class last semester. I find that speaking a foreign language proficiently dramatically changes your view of the world. Trying to just to translate doesn’t work; you really have to acquire a different, totally new mindset. And although some people consider German to be harsh and rough, I’ve been told by a couple people that I have changed their mind about that unfortunate stereotype.
  4. I love literature, which basically means I have a lot of books: poetry, novels, short stories, biographies, histories…whatever. I don’t read nearly as often as I’d like to read, though.
  5. I program computers. I’ve worked extensively with Java (a vestige from school) and C, and I’m always looking for a new personal or opensource  project to spend time working on. Last summer I worked as an intern at Intel, working on an XML parser in C for a larger project. It wasn’t the most exciting work, but working with a team to deliver a product is experience I can take the bank, and I have. It was a wonderful experience and something I feel proud to have on my résumé. My current interest is in C++ and Qt, though I think C++ is terrifically ugly.
  6. I am a Linguist. I didn’t see this coming in high school (though there were clues), but after my first semester in university, I drastically changed my mind. I’ve always been fascinated with language, and an introductory course changed my idea that I would be programming in a cubicle for the rest of my life. I am convinced that language is the most important and pivotal invention of mankind. Linguistics is the scientific field dedicated to the study of its use, histories, production, and future, and I’m thrilled to contribute. Outside academics, though, I’m not sure where this focus will take me. I do dream of machine translation and authentic voice synthesis sometimes, though.
  7. I’m a christian. Don’t take this one the wrong way, please. Carl Sagan wrote once, in the words of Ellie Arroway, “I’m a christian and you don’t speak for me. You’ve trapped yourself in some sort of religious mania. Since then, the renaissance has happened, the enlightenment has happened. Where’ve you been? … I am a Christian in the sense that I find Jesus Christ to be an admirable historical figure. I think the Sermon on the Mount is one the of the greatest ethical statements and one the best speeches in history. I think ‘love thy enemy’ might even be the long-shot solution to the problem of nuclear war. I wish he were alive today. It would benefit everybody on the planet. But I think Jesus was only a man. A great man, a brave man, a man with insight into unpopular truths. But I dont think he was God or the son of God or the grandnephew of God.” I was raised catholic, and I very much agree with many catholic teachings. I want to believe in them. On the other hand, I consider myself an atheist. This doesn’t mean I’m convinced that God doesn’t exist, it means I am not convinced that God does exist.
  8. I want a kid. I know a lot of people who swear that they’ll never have children, but I’m not one of them. I don’t know when I’d like to raise a child or who I’ll raise it with, but I do know that I want a child.
  9. I am a Trekkie. If you know me at all, you’ll already know this. I’ve been watching Star Trek with my father since I was born. I grew up watching Voyager, so I’m somewhat biased, but I really love the entire cannon of the series. was a yearly visitor of the Las Vegas Star Trek: The Experience, and I love to attend the conventions. So much of the series concerns itself with friendship, prosperity, and exploration. I am convinced the future should be so accepting.
  10. I am convinced that there has to be a Theory of Everything, something that unifies the the four fundamental forces of the universe. Nothing else makes sense– why such a random number, four? For that matter, what’s the point of one? I’m constantly hoping someone will prove that we are made and governed by nothing.
  11. I like art. At one point, I blew a huge chunk of a paycheck on art supplies, only to learn that I have very little artistic talent. I  can spend hours in museums, just looking. My favorite piece of art is called “The Calling of Saint Matthew” by Caravaggio, and though I don’t care for Italy or Italian artwork much, this piece still stands out.
  12. I’d like to become more involved with astronomy and physics in the future. Perhaps going back to school for them. I sometimes mock the older people in my classes, but I have a feeling I might someday regret this. Astronomy is something I’d serious consider studying, and might have, had I been a bit smarter. If nothing else, I’d like to personally fund a study or an observatory. I feel that everyone should have the privilege of the night sky.
  13. I love the night sky. There’s a word to describe the way I feel, again introduced to me by Carl Sagan: numinous. I’ve been working for a long time to transcribe the way I feel, but have thus far been unsuccessful. There’s something very peaceful and infinite there. There’s something very important, too.
  14. I might like to be a teacher someday. I mentioned that I taught a german class, but I didn’t explain the ideas I had after I finished. For one thing, most of what I’m interested in seems to have very little money associated with it in the business world. I used to have some kind of fear of presenting my thoughts and what I’ve learned, but I got over that during my senior year in Humanities, and I haven’t shut up since.
  15. I’m a bit of communist. This makes me a bit of red sheep in the family (that and my liberal views and god-hating ways), but to me, it makes an intuitive sense. A lot of people argue against this, saying that other people are not their responsibility. I argue, why not? If I’m able to help others, I really like to, and in some cases, wish to, even if I can’t.
  16. I drink coffee and eat Chex Mix, but not together. I’ve been eating Chex Mix forever, and I don’t plan on stopping, either (after all, can you really argue with 60% less fat?) I also drink coffee, but that’s a new thing, relatively speaking.I remember the first time I drank it, at Seattle Espresso, I liked immediately. Granted, it had a lot of sugar in it, and recently, I’ve taken up black coffee. It’s fun to say, “I’ll have a coffee, black.”
  17. I believe in aliens. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, considering I usually like to wait until the evidence is in, but I have a feeling that someone has to be out there. I’m a bit of a romantic, I’ll admit it. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I like to pretend that I myself am an alien. It brings a lot more fun to an otherwise boring time.
  18. I love cars. This is a recent addition, too. I spend a lot of my free time in magazines, review websites, and dealers obsessing over these beautiful machines. My love of driving probably stems from that. I currently drive a 2007 VW Jetta, and have my eyes on something from BMW for my next car. I realize there’s quite a bit of backlash to owners of these cars, but there’s something disturbingly efficient and through that, beautiful about german cars. Something just told me when I sat in the seat that I was here to drive, and no other manufacturer has yet to replicate that experience for me.
  19. I like the ocean. The sea is one of the greatest unexplored spaces left on earth, full of potential for energy and new species. When I was little, my mom used to teach oceanography, and she took us on a trip every year to California, where we went on boating expedition. Although I can get very seasick, I would very much like to dedicate part of my life to doing that again. On the same idea, I love aquariums, and I have one of my very own.
  20. I am fascinated by light, really the way it lands on things, and the fact that it doesn’t always touch everything. Shadow is just as important as light, and the combination and interaction these two have on things really makes or breaks an aesthetic. Chiaroscuro and Tenebrism, as seen in “The Calling of Saint Matthew” are one of the reasons I loved studying the Renaissance so much. Lighting, in my opinion, is what defines a room.
  21. I like Hawaii. There are many places I have considered living, as soon as I can possibly get out of this hell hole. None, though, are more appealing than Hawaii. I went on holiday there two years ago, and it has preoccupied my thoughts since. I still remember the native language being used, trying to pick it apart. I remember people there were incredibly nice. Most of all, though, I remember the view. What a wonderful view.
  22. I have a bird. I love birds. When I move out, I will have more birds. I’m terribly excited to finally be reunited with my favorite friend: her name is technically Nani (Hawaiian for beautiful), but for some reason, everyone in my family calls her Mikey, even me. Just ignore that, I suppose. She’s a red-bellied parrot, and the sweetest bird you’ll ever meet. And she can talk.
  23. I like movies. I made a New Year’s resolution this year to keep all the movie stubs that I go to this year, mostly so I can see how many I attend a year. I find a wonderful escape in movies that I can find no where else. I’m at 10 stubs.
  24. I use a Mac. I don’t want to get too technical, but suffice it to say that with no other OS have I felt quite at effective. I love the combination of power and beauty. And let’s face it, if I’m going to be using the computer so often, it might as well be beautiful.
  25. I write. See all that is above.
  26. I really hate odd numbers.

Falling Over My Feet

Shoelaces, considering their physical size and their role in this world, make me disproportionally self-conscious. For one thing, my shoes are perpetually untied. This leads to major trouble in busy walk-ways and mini-depressions when I’m left behind by a group. To compound this situation, my shoes tend to only come untied while I’m casually sitting. Just sitting. ALthough I eventually identified the cause of this perplexing issue, I was vexed for many frustrating hours. What’s most problematic for me, though, is that no one else seems to be having the same problem.

It would be rude for me to imply that no one else ties their shoes. No, it’s obvious that most everyone does this, or we’d all be tripping all the time. I know this, but I still never see anyone actually doing it. I understand that many people start their day tying their shoes in the privacy of their own homes, but I think it’s a simply ridiculous not to think that at least some of those shoe come united throughout the day.  Despite this, I have undeniable observational experience that people do not tie their shoes in public. I do, and I feel so ashamed for it.