100 things about me

last update May 2020

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 supposedly includes some Algonquin, but it hasn't shown up on my DNA test.
  4. Born in 1967, I was the perfect age for the debuts of Sesame Street (age 2), Star Wars (10), and MTV (15). I wish Star Wars wasn't still made for 10 year olds.
  5. Before I was 3, and before I saw a TV, I got my mom to teach me to read. I would ask "What does that word look like?"
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.

  8. 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.
  9. I have a lifetime 4.0 grade point average in math classes, from seventh grade to two years beyond calculus. But I'm not that into math.
  10. I enjoy playing sports and dancing, but I'm bad at both, because I feel like the clumsy puppeteer of my body.
  11. I didn't learn to throw with my wrist until I was 30 and someone gave me explicit instruction.
  12. Even in stuff I'm good at, I'm a slow worker.
  13. 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.
  14. For more than 25 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.
  15. I think my writing skill is mostly editing skill. When I'm writing or speaking, I feel the boredom of the audience hot on my heels.
  16. 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 filler."
  17. 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.
  18. I used to fantasize about being in solitary confinement because of all the free time. After Coronavirus, I know that I also need to go out into nature.

  19. 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. My favorite test is this one by Sonja Elen Kisa.
  20. In Five Factor I'm high Openness, high Conscientiousness, low Extraversion, average Agreeableness, and low Neuroticism.
  21. 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.
  22. In Enneagram I'm 5w4 1w9 2w3 (or 3w4), so/sx.
  23. I can't relate to the idea that people are trying to fill an emptiness inside. Inside I feel healthy and complete.
  24. 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.
  25. I'm really good at narrowly focusing my attention, and really bad at widely focusing it.
  26. That's why I hate driving, because I can't "zone out" -- I have to constantly use conscious attention to not crash.
  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. The great challenge of my life is motivation, and I still haven't solved it, other than just powering through. There are only two activities: obsessions and chores.

  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. My all time favorite games are Zelda Ocarina of Time, Heroes of Might and Magic II, and Lords of the Realm II. But if I could step into any game, it would be Zelda Wind Waker.
  33. I've also played a ton of Minesweeper and Windows Freecell, and I'm really good at them.
  34. My dream game would be like Lords of the Realm II with the complexity of Dwarf Fortress and the combat of Mount & Blade.

  35. 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."
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. I never once saw my parents show affection for each other. I didn't find out until much later that this wasn't normal.
  39. I'm most attracted to bratty women, and probably lucky they're not attracted to me.
  40. 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.
  41. I define love in terms of actions, because if I define it in terms of feelings, it seems either absent or harmful.

  42. 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. That's why I won't wear full strength glasses or get laser surgery.
  43. I have 31 teeth. I lost one by drinking apple juice too frequently without immediately rinsing my mouth.
  44. 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 at all healthy.
  45. I have made over a thousand pies from scratch, mostly apple.
  46. 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.
  47. In the winter I eat lots of grapefruit, and in the summer I eat lots of peaches.

  48. I use only hot water to clean my hair, and I've been cutting it myself since college.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. When I have to wear shoes, I wear Vibram FiveFingers or Keens. Once you go to a wide toe box, you can't go back.
  54. I have restless legs syndrome. It's not that bad, and I appreciate that I'm forced to do exercises that are good for me.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. I've always dreamed of traveling across North America on foot, with a group of friends, after civilization collapses.
  58. I've taken four giant trips around the USA, two by bus and train and two by car.
  59. One reason I avoid foreign travel is that border guards hate me. No educated white person gets more shit from border guards than I do, and I don't know why, but it makes me distrust the "intuition" of the authorities.

  60. I have never had an overdue library book.
  61. 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.
  62. I have never deeply smoked a cigarette, or been throw-up drunk.
  63. My head is thick against mushrooms. I ate five dry grams on an empty stomach, and did not hallucinate. But when I walked around outside, I could sense the personalities of trees.
  64. By far my favorite thing to do on psychedelics is walk in nature.
  65. LSD is like walking on the sun; mushrooms are like walking on the moon. On LSD, nature is heaven; on mushrooms, nature is fairyland; LSD is the white keys on a piano, and mushrooms are the black keys.
  66. 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.
  67. At first I didn't like cannabis 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.
  68. Cannabis 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.
  69. I would trade ten IQ points for synesthesia where I could listen to music and see colors.
  70. I never understood jazz until I heard it high. My favorite stoner jazz albums are The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus, and On The Corner by Miles Davis.
  71. I'm a conscientious stoner: 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, and plan activities to make the best use of the high.
  72. At first I would write philosophical thoughts in a journal, and I still do that some. Then I would listen and evaluate music, and I still do that some. But lately I'm mostly using weed for creative work.
  73. If I had a billion dollars, I would fund research for a drug to instantly reset marijuana tolerance.

  74. Because of my blog, people assume I like music with a message about society, but I mostly hate it.
  75. My three favorite bands are Big Blood, Hawkwind, and Beat Happening. In different ways, they're all heirs to the Velvet Underground.
  76. When I discovered them in summer of 2014, Big Blood scored an impossible direct hit on my musical taste. I listened to them obsessively for two years, and their music is so weird and raw that it has opened the doors to other challenging music.

  77. The birthday that made me feel the oldest was 26.
  78. I have now made it from kid to old dude without ever passing through middle age.
  79. 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 sometimes I have an overwhelming urge to go for a run.
  80. 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.
  81. I can lick my left elbow. It's because my left shoulder can come out of its socket -- my tongue is pretty short.
  82. I have thick leg hair and almost no chest hair. So my legs seldom feel cold and my chest often does.
  83. As I get older, cold bothers me less.
  84. 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.
  85. I mainly practice two kinds of meditation. When I have trouble sleeping I focus as narrowly as possible on my breath, for as long as I can.
  86. The other kind is to try to live every moment imagining that my stream of experience is the POV in a music video.
  87. 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.
  88. I try to be horizontal for ten hours every day, including naps.
  89. 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.

  90. 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.
  91. My favorite paranormal author is John Keel, and George Hansen's "The Trickster and the Paranormal" was a big influence.
  92. 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.
  93. I'm sure that when I was a teenager, I heard the song "White Rabbit" with "feed your head" three times at the end, and now it's only two.
  94. The closest I've come to ego death was waking up from anasthetic, in total bliss of being one with my sense experience, and not knowing who I was.
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. Once a painting made me cry, one of Monet's Wheatstacks. This raises the question: how can a painting of wheatstacks affect a person more powerfully than actual wheatstacks?
  98. 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.