Archive for December, 2007

I’ve been “tagged” by my colleague “P” who has given me the charge of listing “The Ten Things Most People Don’t Know About Me”. I’m not so sure I’m interested in sharing — good God, to what avail? — but it gets me writing, which is a good practice. While I refuse to pass this duty on to three other bloggers (as is apparently required by this custom, as well as by the recipe for Amish Friendship Bread), I yield to “P’s” request and offer the following ten facts:

  1. I often consider running for public office some day — probably city council or borough assembly — so I have to be circumspect about what I reveal. Like just about anybody interesting, I have what’s euphemistically called “a past” — behaviors in my personal history that might disqualify me for sainthood. Not only that, but I have “a present” too, not to mention enough unpopular opinions that I often suspect nobody would offer me a job again if they knew what I was really like.
  2. I find the dishonesty required to get by in civil society to be a strain on my integrity. Constantly I feel forced to appear not to disagree with the most offensive, unfounded, and damaging of people’s sincere opinions, for the need to continue having friends and a community. To speak my mind would alienate them. Instead, I alienate myself.
  3. My family has recently pretty much abandoned Microsoft Windows in favor of SimplyMEPIS GNU/Linux. Although I’m not settled on which Linux distribution to use (we may switch to Kubuntu or Debian), my daughters will be raised in a Linux household.
  4. When entering library school, my chief hope was to free children from the tyranny and stultification of compulsory schooling. That hasn’t panned out yet.
  5. The most useful piece of technology I know of — and which is on my Christmas wish list — is the “TV-B-Gone“: a remote control whose sole function is to turn off televisions. Equally useful would be a remote that could send a mild electric shock through people’s earphones, earbuds, or cell phones. (Although merely disabling those devices would probably suffice.)
  6. In high school, I was known for throwing some pretty big “Star Trek” parties, where we’d eat pizza, Doritos, and Jolt Cola and watch “Trek” episodes and movies. When “Star Trek IV” was released, I got half our school to skip to go to the Anchorage premiere.
  7. I went to the University of Chicago as an undergrad. But not for long: I dropped out after less than a year, not ready to be the kind of student they needed. Should have gone to Oberlin. Or Evergreen. In any case, I should have waited to figure out what the hell I wanted out of college.
  8. I have not eaten in a fast-food factory outlet (“restaurant”) since reading “Fast Food Nation” in 2001. And I miss Big Macs sooooo baaaad.
  9. Every Christmas season since 1994, I have had friends over to help me make eggnog: we make our arms sore with beating, whipping, and mixing. It’s a family recipe whose sole ingredients are eggs, sugar, salt, milk, heavy cream, Canadian whisky, brandy, and rum, and whose estimated alcohol content is about 12%. The first, ceremonial batch — there are usually two to four batches per season — is always made with the help of friends and is always made without electric mixers. Why no electric mixers? you ask. Because then you wouldn’t need friends to help, would you?
  10. Writing the preceding nine things has been difficult. What can I say about myself that isn’t trivial, or sanctimonious, or ponderous, or just plain none of your beeswax? I have little desire to be “known” for my online persona; I’d be more gratified for people to be interested in my observations and arguments. Some day, I’ll get around to making them.

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