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Magic 33, and no, I'm not a Mason.

2008-12-19 by

In the end, I'm a rather private person, but most of what I say here isn't all that revealing.  This idea came from a Facebook meme wherein you list 16 perhaps unknown things about yourself. 

1. I studied Arabic incessantly  for 2 years and even did an immersion experience at Middlebury College.  After that I stopped studying and have wanted to get back to it more or less since.

2. I got into programming by trying to program Scrabble in Visual Basic with minimal experience.  I was overwhelmed and mesmerized at the same time.  It's perhaps the only school project I've ever willingly worked on during a weekend.

3. I secretly want to get a PhD in Egyptology, but it would be the most frivolous thing I ever did.

4. I've evaded death on at least two occasions.

5. I used to sleepwalk when I was a child.  It was disorienting to wake up in a location that I didn't start sleeping in, even if it was a familiar spot.  I haven't done it since.  However, now I occasionally have issues with sleep paralysis, where I wake up but can't move.  It's happened enough that I now know when it's happening and what I need to do to get out of it.

6. I'm an INFJ in the Meyers-Briggs.  I've read quite a bit about it.  I'm moderately good at determining other peoples' types, especially if they are idealists or rationals.

7. I worked for three years at a Boy Scout camp in Idaho.  One of my death evasions happened there.

8. I've gotten a huge split lip and killed an incisor playing Ultimate Frisbee, yet I still don't wear a mouthguard.  I haven't had anything like that from years of playing basketball and soccer.

9. I've only ever purchased Nissans (3 of them), though my mom got me a Chevy Cavalier when I was 16.

10. Everything changed in 2004 when I left Utah and went to DC with a stopover in OK and back to UT all within 8 months.  It's a story I would only tell you in person.

11. I have the power to turn off street lamps.  This is a power than I neither understand nor control.

12. I got into Yoga after James dragged me to it once.  Now I do it all the time and even went to a Yoga retreat.

13. After years of weaning off it, I no longer drink pop, pretty much ever unless it's made with real sugar and then only on occasion (I think twice in the last year).

14. I'm something of a flexitarian which apparently is a vegetarian who isn't so strict about it.  Actually I'm more of a fake vegan.  This is becoming less interesting by the moment!

15. I believe in a lot of stuff, the cross-section of which might make most uncomfortable.  Just as a small list of authors, there is Avraham Gileadi, Gordon Michael Scallion, Denise Mendenhall, Joseph Smith, and Bishop Koyle.  Not that I believe everything, or even everything they say.

16. I love synchronicities and I've had a few that defy description.  I won't list them here.  Just call them tender mercies, Elder Bednar.  I don't think I'm a sign-seeker, but I do believe signs follow them that believe.

17. I will not be limited to 16.

18. I will likely be offended if you mock me about anything on this list.  You have to know what you can mock me about and what you can't, and if you can't do that, I will likely not reveal things to you.  Refer to #6.

19. I hate airports.  In the past they represented separation more than opportunity.  Now they might mean more the latter, but that is buried under layers of security and shoe removal that make me more annoyed than secure.

20. I liked Red Delicious when I was a kid, then Granny Smith in HS, then Gala in my twenties.  What's next?  Fuji is making a case.

21. I'm a minimalist at heart.  I throw away CD and DVD cases.  I use reusable grocery sacks.  Rather than recycle everything, I'd like to just not use it in the first place (thank you Health Ranger!).  Refer to #14 on how well I implement all of my ideas on this one.

22. I've lived in Utah for 14 years and never claimed to be from here.

23. I'm from Broken Arrow, OK if you must ask.

24. I once got 6th place in a MATHCOUNTS in a state competition and would have gone to nationals if I'd been able to answer the runoff question correctly.  The question was this: 256 ^ .25 (256 to the .25 power).  I would have been able to get it if I had known that .25 translated to the 1/4th power, making the correct answer 4.  I remember this question some 20 years later.  As do I remember the word I lost the spelling bee on in 5th grade: baboon (I spelled it babboon).  I paused after the first b and they replayed to the tape to see if I had doubled it.

25. Since my mission in Brazil I drink agua natural almost exclusively, that means water at room temperature.

26. I'd like to start my own company, telecommute, and live somewhat remotely.  I find commuting to be unnecessary and cities to be too congested.  And I don't like having a boss.

27. I decided that once I got past 16, I thought I'd like to get to 33 on this list, to match my age.

28. I'm running out of ideas.

29. Although a technologist by trade, I tend to be a late adopter.  We never had an answering machine growing up, and I only got a cell phone 4 years ago.  Now I have a Treo and part of me died inside when I got it.  It felt really awkward to be something a trendsetter on that one.

30. I think being a perfectionist is one of my best and worst qualities.  I like to do a good job, but I often don't get started until I feel I can do it well.  Writing this list would be an example.  I would want the optimal 16 things even though I know the best thing is to just write it.

31. Given the luxury, I would like to just work on projects that interest me.  This is what I've done more or less for the last 10 months.  It doesn't pay well though...

32. My 1830 score in PathWords is legit and I challenge anyone to best it.  I plan to get to 2000 some day, but no one is pushing me higher these days and I tend to coast when I'm ahead.  This is why I've now been surpassed by multiple people in Scramble.

33. Some friends have noted that they get good grades but aren't "intellectual."  I've done both in the past and have only recently seen the disconnect b/w the two.  I'd like to see a revolution in education where competition isn't the main stimulus.  It seems that many of the people that have truly contributed in society did so outside of conventional education, and even in spite of it.  I'm likewise bothered by people that don't want to know and learn more and more and limit themselves because they think they're dumb or incapable.  I've read enough to know that if you want to do anything, you can.  it's just a question of really putting the time into it.  This is worthy of a blog post on its own.

I made it to 33!  Magic 33!  Happy Birthday to me!