Apr. 10th, 2010

1) I don't own a cellphone or a laptop. This isn't a philosophical position, I just have yet to have a need for them.

2) I once co-wrote, co-starred, directed, and edited a twenty minute movie to roast a friend at his wedding. It turned out to be pretty good for a home movie filled with in-jokes.

3) In addition to that, I have appeared on stage (both singing and acting), and in local newspapers and radio in several points throughout my youth. (I've only been on television in crowd shots.)

4) To the best of my knowledge, my name has never been in national media; the closest that I can say is that I was one of the three volunteers who actually carried out Diskette Day, a promotion giving away Macintosh disks to the first three hundred students at the Carnegie Mellon/Case Western football game in 1987. That made it into CNN and ESPN and the Wall Street Journal. And, as good and entertaining as the Tartans (and the band) are, it didn't work (although it surely didn't help that it was raining that day) and I had leftover Mac disks to last me through the remainder of my undergraduate career.

5) Speaking of Carnegie Mellon, I imagine that I am one of the very few people to graduate from that prestigious university with a full four-year degree in the past thirty years without taking a single computer programming course. It is required even for Drama majors and there is no placing out of it with the single exception that the first Computer Science AP exam turned out to be so OMGWTFBBQ hard that they decided to give people who got a 4 or 5 a pass. All the same, my degree carries great geek cred because people know that Applied Math at Carnegie Mellon is our code for computer programmers and they don't notice that my degree is in pure math.

6) I don't know my IQ. I'm outside the range of the normal test, and I've never cared enough to go hunting for the actual number. I think that it's a metric desperately searching for a context in which it is relevant. Abraham Lincoln is said to have claimed that his legs were long enough to reach the ground, and that's how I feel about how smart I am.

7) I don't recall ever saying "I told you so". I don't even think it. What I think is "I'm sorry I wasn't capable of persuading you enough back when it would have made a difference."

8) I can sing, but you've never heard me doing it. (Actually, I sang once at a boink, having been dared to sing the rap portion of Barenaked Ladies' One Week, which I can do except for half of the line about the golf clubs.) I was a soloist in my elementary school choir, but left it when my voice broke in eighth grade. (The only course that I could transfer to mid-semester was computer programming, which was the start of a beautiful friendship.) The choir director, who went on to help train Renée freaking Fleming can still pick me out of a crowded room after nearly thirty years, bless her soul. In my adult years, I sang bass for a small church choir, and my voice was described as "complex" and "adding depth". I presume that these are euphemisms.

9) I can ballroom dance, but you've never seen me doing it. Technically, my frame and signaling skills are very credible, but my mind freezes when it comes to actually leading in a way that shows off my partner's grace. I'd be an awesome follower if I ever trained for it, but there isn't much application for male followers in the world, alas.

10) I enjoy playing games, but it's an experience that I enjoy from the perspective of strengthening my knowledge base and having fun and not so much from winning. Specifically, I can't play Pictionary or Acquire because I am frustrated at my lack of growth and I don't play Settlers of Catan because it really screws up the dynamics when someone isn't playing to win. The one exception to this is that I refuse to throw a game to a child. There's no shame in doing your best and coming up short, especially if you've embiggened yourself in the process. I'll never be a parent, but I've got some wisdom to pass along.

11) I love people. I just do. You could be some asshole who has dedicated your life to pissing in my metaphorical Cheerios, I don't care. There's a jigsaw puzzle in this universe, and you've got a piece of it, and I want to get to know you. I'm afraid to do that, which sucks, but there we are.


Matthew Daly

December 2012

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