About me in 25 things

  1. I never graduated from college, but I was able to turn my 1.62 from Miami University into a 3.94 at Ohio State in just one quarter (ask me how!). I realized it wasn’t for me just two weeks into my second quarter and quit, or as I told my dad, “I am turning pro.”
  2. Everything I do professionally, I taught myself and learned on my own. I attribute most of my success to knowing which tasks and technologies are simply out of my reach, and instead focus my energies on what I can not only do well but maybe even be one of the best in the world.
  3. My qualifications for my first real job in 1999: I had a cable modem (very rare at that time), owned a Bondi Blue iMac (they had just come out), and could hand-code HTML. I built my first website in 1995 and knew that was what I wanted to do, I just never thought I could make a living on it.
  4. “I was bored before I even began” sums up pretty much every job I’ve ever had, but I discovered that early enough to look for something else instead of fun: the opportunity to work with brilliant minds and diverse groups of people on really big and thorny problems with a potential payout that makes it all worthwhile. Hasn’t happened yet, but I might as well swing for the fences.
  5. I waited tables for many years, from chains to mom and pop’s to high-end fine dining, and continue to use many of the lessons I learned in my current work. I still tip like a rich man — which I am most certainly not — because no one works harder for less, with the exception of taxi cab drivers. I cannot tolerate those who can afford to tip well, but do not.
  6. I am not a very patient person, but I do believe that everything has its time. I work hard to put myself in position to take advantage of opportunities when they come. Truly, “chance favors the prepared mind.” I always have a quip, quote, or ancillary anecdote to describe almost any situation.
  7. From the moment Abby and I met at Miami, we were inseparable. Oh sure I fought it, but there was no escaping it: she and I were magnetic. I knew the moment we kissed that I would live my life with her and make beautiful babies together. And yes, I said babies.
  8. Abby remains a mystery to me. We’re a lot a like, both Virgos as well, so I understand much of what makes her tick, but I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to decipher her, marveling at her strength and creativity, and basking in her glow. She completes me.
  9. I am ever grateful for the life I share with Abby and Sawyer. Before him, we were Scabby. With him, we’ve become even Scabbyer. In many ways it feels like he’s always been here with us, just waiting for his moment to come. He completes me and Abby.
  10. Not a day goes by that Sawyer doesn’t amaze me with his boundless energy, his incredible sensitivity to the world around him, and his zest for life. I once thought I would teach him everything I know, and there’s certainly room for that, but I have learned far more from him instead.
  11. I have worked with the wind to bring change to my life (it did), become one with a tree in order to gain greater vision and fuller perception (trippy beyond belief), placed a chip of a meteorite on my forehead and asked it to remove impediments to my growth (it worked), learned to breathe beauty through my eyes (try to do it every day), and plan to listen to the song of the grass next. btw, none of these things involved doing drugs of any kind.
  12. I have never discussed that with anyone other than Abby, but now that it’s in the open I am more than willing to share my experiences with anyone who asks.
  13. I miss the smell of the earth in Ohio. In fact, I miss many things about Ohio, not the least of which are the hallmarks of each distinct season: spring thunderstorms, summer heat and repressive humidity, that first cool fall night, and virgin snow. Although I doubt I’ll ever live there again, it will always be my home. New York is calling me next.
  14. I wish I didn’t live so far away from my parents. I know our moving out west was difficult on them. Abby and I were engaged to be married, owned (well, paying the mortgage on) a beautiful house in Victorian Village, and were poised to start a family. Instead, we packed up and in many ways started over out here. Turned out to be just as difficult on me, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on this experience.
  15. My sister and brother are the two coolest people in the world, both so stylish and incredibly smart. I pale in comparison and miss them dearly.
  16. I never steal music, but spend a small fortune each month buying it online: digital whenever possible, cd if not, and vinyl if it’s a collectible. I have some incredibly rare and possibly extremely valuable records, and someday hope to have a room dedicated to music.
  17. I especially love music that I do not initially like. I prefer to be challenged over comforted, but I will listen to something 10 or 20 times in a row to get past the challenge state and on to comfort.
  18. From roughly 1995 to 2003, I didn’t listen to any music that had vocals, unless they were chopped up beyond recognition. My brother turned me onto Radiohead and that opened the floodgates. I still cannot work on anything that requires writing words — software, blogging, emails, even tweets — while listening to something with vocals.
  19. I hope to someday do a deep and decades-long dive into jazz and classical music. Unfortunately, and with few exceptions, if it didn’t happen during my lifetime I don’t know about it. I truly have no historical perspective.
  20. I follow on the order of 120 blogs, which is down from my all-time high of over 200. I likely read / skim 200+ articles a day. My interests run from political wonkery to web and startup technology to architecture and design nerdery to keeping up with my friends and family. Abby jokes that Sawyer must think that I have a Mac permanently attached to my body. She’s not that far off.
  21. I had to promise Abby that I wouldn’t buy any more books, at least until the stack of 20 odd started but still unread books are either completed or moved off my nightstand. My favorite new acronym is tl;dr which stands for “too long; didn’t read.” I wish I had more quiet time to relax and unwind with a book, more often than not it puts me right to sleep.
  22. With each passing day I think it more and more likely that I will write a book. Since this list took me over three hours to complete, I’ll need more than just a couple of hours each night to write it, and nothing else to occupy the bulk of my time. Oh, and I’ll need to learn how to write too.
  23. I am very conscious of the waste I generate in living my life, and wish that babies weren’t the worst of it. We tried environmentally-friendly flush-able diapers in the beginning, but all three of us were miserable — Huggies truly made our lives so much easier. I am fortunate to live in a city that prioritizes recycling, and have become much more diligent about it, but know that it isn’t enough. Also, I will probably get my ass-kicked when confronting someone over littering, especially over tossing cigarette butts. I cannot fathom anyone being that ignorant still to this day.
  24. I will start at least three quiet revolutions in my lifetime, and I am working diligently to get the first one off the ground this year.
  25. I was born ass-first, and since then have done just about everything that way. Sometimes it’s just me being contrarian, others it’s just me being clueless. I’d like to think it’s charming, but I know it’s painful to watch. I really do believe my best days are ahead of me. And I’ve lived a good life so far, so that’s saying a lot.