Seriously, tag 25 people? That's an incredible exponential rate of growth. I almost didn't do this either because I didn't want to push any of the videogame related blogs off of the front page, but then I realized that wouldn't be a problem and it's been pretty fun spying on everyone else.
1. I was on the Academic Team/Quiz Bowl team my junior and senior year in high school. It's basically the only extracurricular I participated in. We won the division in our league both years but couldn't make it to the final round in the playoffs. Senior/varsity was crazy, as despite being a brilliant bunch of bastards the team shrunk by about 50% by the end as members failed to meet the GPA requirement or decided to drop out. Still, fun times. I'd bone up on my literature knowledge by walking through the fiction section in the school library and simply browsing the spines so I could associate the author with the book. I also recall being the first to ring in in quite a few of our matches. We even did an exhibition match taping for the county educational channel:
As you can see, I also had long hair in high school.
2. I lost two spelling bees in elementary school. Both times I was tripped up by animal names. The first time it was "oxen" (O-X-A-N) and the second time it was "caterpillar" (C-A-T-T-E-R-P-I-L-L-A-R.) I don't know why I over-thought on "oxen." Hell, I think that had even been a word on my spelling list in 3rd grade, and I sure as shit should have known it thanks to Oregon Trail. I doubt I've ever misspelled either word since.
3. I graduated college with a BS in Mathematics almost 3 years ago and my first (and only) job out of college was manning a booth at the county fair part time with my sister for about a month right after. I've been a drain on society and my parents ever since. I really don't know what I want to do with my life, and I've been too lazy to figure it out. Incidentally, I was voted "most likely to succeed" in middle school.
4. I'm a packrat from a family of packrats and I've held on to a ton of shit over the years. I need to invite Topher over so we can have a yard sale. My room is a terrible mess. I have a ton of crap from Comic Con over the past 3 years that I need to just throw away but something keeps me from doing so.
While I'm namedropping editors, I'll take this moment to say my Goodwill is almost as awesome as Dyson's.
5. I grew up listening to classic rock, and that's pretty much the music I like. My dad is a huge Beatles fan. Classic rock radio is terrible in general, though. I actually like a lot of music but I'm not a huge enough music nerd to seek things out. I was really big on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in high school, and in the last couple of years I've concentrated on David Bowie. There seems to be a Bowie resurgence or something hanging in the collective nerd consciousness right now beyond "Labyrinth." Maybe I only notice it because I've become a bigger fan, but between Venture Bros. and Flight Of The Conchords and what have you I'm seeing a large fandom in my existing media/internet social circles.
6. One book that affected my view of the world to an unknown but significant degree is Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, which is something of a geek classic. I received it as a gift from my senior English teacher (who I TA'd for and thus became somewhat close with,) oddly enough shortly after I had been introduced to it by one of my friends (who was in that class and on Academic Team.) There's some heady mathematical content, and I myself didn't quite grasp all of it the first and only time I read through it (it's a big fucking book and I need to read it again now that I'm a bit wiser,) but it's wonderfully written. I highly recommend it. Here's one of the most clever passages in the book.
7. I don't drive. I need to learn how. I never had the impetus to learn when I turned 16, as I wasn't really into going places or hanging out with friends (the few close ones I had) outside of school. Laziness and an ability to cope with what I needed to do without having to learn have prevented me from getting around to it. In fact, I have two sisters and a brother, we're all adults now, and none of us have learned how to drive.
8. My short acting resume includes playing The Big Bad Wolf in a musical production of The Three Little Pigs in kindergarten. Somewhere there is a videotape. The acting bug never really bit me afterward, but recently I finally saw the film version of Sweeney Todd and faint stirrings have arisen. The songs are great.
9. I started gaming when I was 2 or less on my parents' Atari. Frostbite was one of my favorites. I was excited when my dad brought home an NES with Super Mario Bros., Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, and Q*Bert, but then dismayed to learn that in order to help pay for the NES he had sold the Atari and most of the games to a friend! I got over it pretty quickly, but I recall that shock. It's probably part of why I never ever sell games I get, even if I never play them. I still have a Centipede and a Donkey Kong cartridge, though, which somehow escaped the sale.
10. Things that scared me when I was young:
-I freaked out when I went on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. I was doing OK until the part where A GHOST SITS IN THE CAR WITH YOU and then I totally lost my shit.
-I also got a tad freaked out when we saw Captain Eo on that same trip. I had the 3-D glasses off for most of it, but then I put them on right when it cut to the elephant guy and the extreme close-up was too much for me. I didn;t wear the glasses through the rest of it.
-Most embarrassing: I saw the 1986 film version of Maurice Sendak's Nutcracker and the crazy multi-headed Rat King scared me so much that I was afraid he would rise up out of a hole in the bathroom floor while I was in there alone. As a result, I would not go to the bathroom for weeks unless one of my parents watched me. This and the crazy intestinal torture I forced myself through probably explains a lot about who I am today.