Tuesday, February 17, 2009

10 Random Things

Inspired by Mark Rosewater's 25 Random Things, I thought about my own Random Things. It's a nice exercise. As I'm writing this, I really don't know how many I can compile. 30 is quite a big number and I'll probably just end up with 5.

These things are under the category of "Things people are least likely to know". Although I'm not a believer of exposing a lot of things (the more you know about me, the less interesting I become), I'll just enjoy the exercise.

I've set myself up to alternate the things I do and things I don't do (or positive things and negative things, however it will be said). Without further ado:

- Given a fair amount of time, I can probably name all 52 states of the USA. As a kid, I used to stay alone in the room. I love to read and one of the books from my mother's collection that I read from cover to cover was an Information Please Almanac (I think it was a 1984 Almanac). I got interested in the facts about all the states. This was also the time that I got interested in basketball. I was determined to understand how the NBA divided their team divisions so knowing where a particular team is located was very important. I eventually know a lot more than normal Filipinos know about the United States. The information I kept in my brain became useful in my senior year in college. My literature professor, who was an American, was quizzing about the United States and I was the only student who was able to point out where Florida, California, and some other states were in the map that he had drawn on the board.

- I don't like to dance. Most especially in a disco house. And I can even fall asleep inside a disco house (maybe if I'm too tired). Working a sweat or having fun while dancing just does not translate as enjoyable to me. The few moments that somebody else got me to dance was because I was forced to perform an intermission number. Anyway, I feel like a total jerk with such an ungraceful body whenever I attempt to dance. I think I have to be given the dance moves to follow. Which means that I'm not creative when it comes to dancing. Still, I feel like a total jerk with choreographed dancing.

- Comic books are a big part of my life. When I learned how to read, I took the opportunity of reading all the bound comic books that my brother had and started to really appreciate the joys of reading. Later, I was able to have my own collection of comic books. A family friend from the US would bring me a pile of cheap comic books. One summer vacation, I probably spent half of my pocket money in just one day for comic books. The best thing that I got from comic books was during my senior year in high school. My brother and I started an order-basis business selling comic books. He would purchase from Manila and I would sell it to my school mates in Iligan. We were able to profit around 9,000 pesos in 5 months of operation. With my share, I got to open my own ATM account. My father gave me specific instructions not to go into the comic book business while I was going to study in college. Right now, I still read but only through downloaded scanned comic books.

- I've banged my head on something hard more times that I can remember. There are 2 serious incidents though. One was when I was very young I banged my head while leaning back on a chair. The wound required several stitches. I still remember the ticklish sensation of getting knitted up. I was also required to swim in the sea to help heal the wound. The 2nd incident involved a ceiling fan. I was in my 3rd year in high school and our class was forced to transfer to a room in the first floor of a two-story building. The room had a ceiling fan that looked like it was going to drop if used continuously. Our teachers kept telling us to not use it but we didn't listen. After a classroom recess which involved the usual sweaty games, my friends turned on the ceiling fan and as I passed by, the ceiling fan dropped on my head. The first thing I did was recover my spectacles and then I took out my comb from my back pocket and combed my hair.

- I don't have a sense of smell. Or I believe that I don't have any. Halfway in my college education, I seem to have lost the use of my nose. I don't usually breathe through my nose. A medical check up found out that I had multiple polyps. Afraid to have a surgical operation, I still have the same nose and situation. It has its advantages and disadvantages. For one, I don't get to smell unbearable bad odors. The disadvantage is I don't get to smell someone who smells good. Purchasing a cologne is always an adventure as I need a companion to help me describe what a particular cologne smells like. Thankfully, there are such sites as perfumeemporium.com to help me figure out the nice colognes.

- My siblings like to describe me as the politician in the family. I seem to have that talent to try and please both sides of a conflict. When my mother died, I was the only person who was able to talk properly to a drunk uncle who blamed my father and my siblings for the death of my mother. I had to "convince" him that it was nobody's fault. I could say that I negotiated my way out of a tough situation. At present, I'm the only child left that is still close to my father and his wife. Both my siblings are now considered in the wrong side of things. I hate being right in the middle but considering that I need to respect them, I will have to do what I need to do for the good of all.

- In high school, I was able to represent my school in chess and swimming competitions. My best anecdote for chess is about a citywide competition involving private schools in the city. Instead of playing a round per week, the organizers asked if we were willing to play all the rounds in just one afternoon. Since most of the participants agreed, we played (I think) 6 rounds of chess in that afternoon. I went home in the evening feeling like a zombie - my brain all drained out. For swimming, I used to wake up early during Sundays just to swim. My swimming days ended when I almost contracted typhoid fever after an afternoon of intense swimming. Unfortunately in college, I never participated in any of these events because I was too shy to try out.

- I don't sing (much). Maybe I do on my own but I've found out that I don't have the best voice so I am rarely heard singing in public. I used to enjoy the old-school singing via Multiplex but I was discouraged early by my siblings. That said, I don't enjoy karaoke sessions. Maybe I'll sing if I get to drink a few bottles but unfortunately I'm on a quest to not drink for a year. I do enjoy music except for techno, disco, and novelty music.

- My favorite manga is One Piece. The first time I was exposed to One Piece was through a Shonen Jump issue which had the 50th chapter of the manga. I was captivated by the diverse characters and I started reading from Chapter 1. Now, I can't imagine that One Piece is on its 531st chapter and still going strong.

- I never watched Braveheart. Of all the movies that I never watched, Braveheart is probably the most "memorable" because it broke apart a friendship. During my high school (and my brother was in college/work), my brother came home and wouldn't stop talking about Braveheart. The whole time that he was home, he kept saying the infamous phrases from the movie. It felt like I had watched the movie also. In my first year in college, I had a discussion with roommate about not being able to watch Braveheart. His reaction (and like most of his reactions to what I did) was "What? If you haven't watched Braveheart, you've missed half of your life!" I reacted by saying that a movie (or any movie) can't be such a huge part of my life (much more to be half). That argument was probably the turning point between me and my roommate as we never talked again casually after that. And even until now, I still haven't watched Braveheart.

And that should be enough for Random Things. It has taken me a day to finish but then I can't just reveal everything in my life. 10 things for now is enough.

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