About me extended edition

It would appear I’ve attracted a few folks who, although they have experienced my wit and charm through the ramblings on this site, don’t really know me in any way.  This has engendered questions like “Who the hell are you?” and “What planet are you from?” and other creative manifestations of an apparent thirst for knowledge.  I suppose, without giving away too much (read as “without providing enough ammunition for identify thieves or stalkers”), I’ll answer some of those questions.

Keep in mind I can only give you my own perceptions, my own internal understanding of me.  For the most part, you have to make up your own mind about who I am.

My friends and family call me Jason, my very good friends call me Jas or J, and only Mom gets to call me On.

I’m a non-paying member of Generation X (one of many labels I’m sure others will want to suffocate me with).

I live in Jefferson, Texas, USA, North America, Earth, Sol system, Milky Way galaxy.  I lived most of my life in Dallas before escaping the city for a more rustic existence.

Like the majority of Dallasites, I was a transplant.  We out-of-staters are often sent there to ensure a diverse and robust gene pool in that part of the world.

I was for the most part a normal child, but normal is a relative term and we all probably describe ourselves that way.  I know from conversations with my parents much later in life that we (my siblings and I) drove my parents insane with the antics we pulled.

I think it’s interesting that people like to look back on life and draw illogical lines in history simply to demonstrate to themselves how they arrived at their present state in relationship to the world around them — significant other, friends, family, living arrangements, points of view, beliefs and so on.  Use of the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) has always bothered me.  (See “History illogical” in this post for an explanation of what I mean.)

I started my education with heavy doses of “Schoolhouse Rocks”, Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

I miss Fred Rogers.

I have a deadly allergy to the stings of ants, wasps and bees, yet my favorite insect is one of the largest wasps in North America.

I once spoke eight languages fluently.  It’s been decades since I used any of them, however, and I doubt I can even ask someone their name in two or three.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if some people think I don’t even know English anymore.

Photography is a hobby and passion for me.  Oh, and I’m published.

I stopped watching television years ago.  I don’t miss it and I cherish the time I gained.

I have always been a fairly intelligent person.  I’m probably smart enough to (almost?) be mentally incapacitated — and that explains a great many things.

I completed more than two years of college before I graduated high school.  I’ve never gone back.

I like crossword puzzles, everything about space (astrophysics and cosmology are of special interest), science (especially quantum mechanics and, less specifically, all flavors of physics), math, weather and atmospheric physics, and other nerdy stuff.  Science and mathematics simply fascinate and intrigue me.

Sometimes I wore trendy clothes while I was growing up, but usually I just wore what I was comfortable in and liked.  If it was in style, great.  If not, oh well.  Now, of course, I’m a slave to designer labels.

As a child, I rebelled against everything I was told to do.  I still do.

I enjoyed high school because I had many friends, had good friends in every crowd and clique, and did quite well academically.

I moved out on my own before graduating high school because I needed the freedom to be myself.

I’m probably certifiable if we’re all to believe the common psychiatric tendency to call everything a “condition” rather than assuming that all humans have idiosyncrasies.  Otherwise, you can label me as anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive and acute-depressive (none of which I take medication for, thank you very much).  I think I’m crazy, but I’ve yet to be labeled with anything that proves that.

I don’t believe in overmedication — the zealous and detrimental excessive prescription and subsequent use of medicines.  Too many people take too many pills for ailments that are nothing more than normal parts of the diverse population, normal expressions of the human condition, and normal ailments that will pass.  Often the overuse of medications creates resistant strains of diseases, yet we go on taking pills because we think or have been told we’re sick.

Before I was 18 I listened to popular music, landed my first computer-related job, and had a wonderful group of friends.  Now many years later, I listen to an eclectic mix of everything with very little “popular” music thrown in, still work in the computer industry, and still have a fantastic group of friends…

…I have a fantastic circle of friends, some of whom I’ve known since elementary school, and I have many friends who I would trust with my life.

I excel at mathematics and science, so computers and electronics come easily to me.  I quickly moved to progressively more advanced (and better paying) jobs, dabbling in programming & development, engineering, design, administration, consulting, and management.

I’m the official tech support hotline for a great many friends and relatives, and that doesn’t bother me.  Much.

I have an impeccable sense of direction, perfect depth perception, and better-than-perfect vision.

I love cats.  No duh, right?

I believe in animal rights; I do not believe the world as a whole exerts sufficient will or force adequate for protecting animals both wild and domestic.

Subsequently, I’m a tree hugger and naturalist.  I think people should do more to protect and preserve the environment.

I continually look for ways to reduce my consumption of nonrenewable resources.

I recycle.

I believe marijuana should be legal.  I believe personal drug possession should be decriminalized.  The War on Drugs™ has been a complete failure, so perhaps it’s time we tried a different approach.  Like one based on common sense and respecting personal choice.

I’ve learned my lesson about office romances.  Hopefully.

I spend less than I earn.

Winter is my favorite season.

I’m a political independent.  I believe in voting for the right person for the job rather than for a political party.

I believe in human rights for everyone, equally applied in all things governmental.

I believe religions should stay out of politics altogether.  If they refuse to do so, they need to pay taxes like everyone else.

I do not like use of the word “fall” in lieu of “autumn”.  We do not call winter “freeze”.  We do not call summer “boil” or “bake”.  We do not call spring “bloom” or “mate and multiply” or “grow”.  Why then do we call autumn “fall”?  That’s what leaves do; it’s not the name of the season.

I know that “irregardless” is not a real word despite its presence in the dictionary.  Either use “irrespective” or “regardless” instead, but don’t merge them into some incomprehensible mishmash that shouldn’t pass even the most primitive of spell checkers.

I don’t own a suit.

I’m a light sleeper.  The slightest noise out of the ordinary will awaken me.  Even the impression of something amiss will wrest me from sleep’s embrace.

I’ve experienced love — real love.

I have never used a fake ID.

I believe in extraterrestrial life.  It might or might not be intelligent, but I know it’s out there.

I sleep with six pillows — two under my head and two under/between my knees (spinal alignment and all…).  The rest are just extras (and for visitors if you get my meaning).

I would gladly die for those I love.

Despite how much I love insects, I can’t stand roaches.  At all.  Wanna see me run shrieking like a little girl?  Show me a roach.

I drive a 2001 Lexus IS 300.

I hate sweet potatoes.  I can stomach almost anything else.  Mexican food is my favorite.

I think — no, I know each year passes more quickly than the last.

Perception is everything, which is why misunderstandings are the enemies of happiness.

There are five steps to success: appearance, appearance, appearance, who you know, what you know.

I believe in what Elbert Hubbard had to say: “Never explain — your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”

I love to read; it’s my ever-present friend.

I sleep in the middle of the bed when sleeping alone.

It’s nearly impossible to offend me.

I hate political correctness.

I love sarcasm.

I love chocolate.

Negra Modelo is my favorite beer (Mexican dark ale actually).  Tsingtao (a Chinese beer) is my second favorite.

I’ve watched the sun rise and set over the ocean.  Lovemaking on the beach is a beautiful way to fill the time betwixt the two.

I’m not religious, but I’ve studied most beliefs to be sure I wasn’t missing something.

I’ve read the entire dictionary — more than once.  I still do it every few years.

I have nine piercings: my right ear is pierced twice and my left three times, both my nipples are pierced, my navel is pierced, and so is my tongue.  I’m not done.

I have six tattoos: one on each wrist, one on each ankle, one on my right biceps (yes, it’s “biceps”; “bicep” is not a word), and one on my left shoulder.  I’m not done.

I never tire of the works of M.C. Escher.

My favorite music group is ErasureDepeche Mode runs a very close second.

I listen to all kinds of music.  And I do mean all kinds.  It doesn’t have to be in English and it doesn’t have to be American for me to like it.  I’m especially fond of Middle Eastern and East Asian music.

I love British humor.

I enjoy science fiction more than any other genre.  I enjoy Stephen King‘s imagination more than any other author.

I would love to live in San Francisco (California), London (Great Britain), Sydney (Australia) and a host of other places.  Truth be told, my relocation from Dallas to Jefferson in East Texas is probably the only move I’ll ever make.  I’m comfortable far from the urban jungle and mayhem that I’ve known my whole life.  My inner city boy died in the wake of a ruralist’s emergence.

I’m not in a popular target market.

Stephen Hawking is my hero.

Ancient Egypt fascinates and captivates me.

Working out is a great way to relax.

I don’t like zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks and similar venues.  I prefer seeing wildlife in the wild.

I miss Carl Sagan.

I read Contact 10 years before the movie.  I read Sphere 10 years before the movie.

I’m addicted to Starbucks coffee (quad venti soy latte all the way, baby!).

I believe everyone can learn something by reading Kahlil Gibran.  I especially recommend my favorite book of all time, The Prophet.

My eyes are brown and hazel (the iris is about one third brown around the pupil and two-thirds hazel around the outside).  They turn all green or all brown (both in varying shades) from time to time.  Like everyone else, I expect them to gradually change as I age, although I don’t know how that will affect their inclination to change randomly.

I love to write.  I’m already working on my second novel and have more than a handful to work on after that one.  I hope one day to make it my only career.

I love kissing.

I prefer board shorts over speedos, boxers over briefs, comfortable silence over idle chatter, coffee over hot tea, hunting with a camera over hunting with a gun, books over movies, substance over surface, science over faith, operas over musicals, compassion over coldness, debate over argument, board games over mind games, and herds of wildlife over herds of people.

I’ve been accused of verbosity.

a life in progress