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Samit Sarkar's blog

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Samit Sarkar avatar 10:25 PM on 02.02.2009  (server time)
10 things you didn't know about Samit Sarkar

Holy crap, I have a c-blog!

I'm not gonna lie -- I kinda didn't want to do one of these blogs. I've been tagged by at least four different people on Facebook for one of those goddamn "25 things" notes, and I flat-out refuse to do one. But since this is only 10 things, I'll make a special exception for you, the Destructoid Community. And yes, I know I'm late to the party, but I wasn't finished with this last night. Sue me.

Obviously, some of you may already know one or more of the following facts about me, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Sorry.

1) Before I became an editor here at Destructoid, I went by 'BrOnXbOmBr21' on the site (and pretty much everywhere else on the internet). In fact, that's my username on the forums. I came up with it when I was in tenth grade. Here's what it comes from: I'm a huge New York Yankees fan, and the team's nickname is "the Bronx Bombers." As for the number, well, on the Yankees of the mid- to late-nineties, right fielder Paul O'Neill was one of my favorite players; his number was 21. I have no idea why I decided to go with the ridiculous alternate capitalization -- it's so childish -- but now, I can type "BrOnXbOmBr21" unbelievably quickly, since I've been doing it for seven years or so.

2) I hope this doesn't come off as pompous, but ... I've always been pretty smart. I started reading at a rather young age, and for most of my early years (like, all through elementary school), I didn't have to try very hard to do well. Unfortunately, that had the undesirable side effect of making me quite lazy -- and let me tell you, there comes a time when you simply can't just get straight As anymore without studying. Not taking scholastic success for granted is a damn hard lesson to learn.

3) I love to read. When I was younger, I devoured books -- I'd read whatever I could get my hands on, and I was the kind of kid who'd secretly be reading under the covers with a flashlight well after his parents told him to go to bed (their stern warnings of "you'll ruin your eyes" had no effect). Sadly, I don't spend nearly as much time with books as I used to -- college took away all the leisure time I had for books, and frankly, when you're already doing a ton of reading for school, you don't want to (or have the energy to) read things for pleasure. I'm hoping to rectify that this year.

4) This one is sort of intertwined with #s 2 and 3. I have a tremendous thirst for knowledge, which is why I still read a lot (it's just that nowadays, most of my reading is done on a computer screen, with the medium being the internet instead of books). I'm the kind of guy who can spend an hour on Wikipedia just browsing and learning about new things (whether that's American history, physics, or classic rock). It seems obvious that my zeal for reading -- especially at an early age -- is why I became so good with English and its proper usage. I didn't become great at spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc., through English class or anything; I just read a lot. But because I do like to know things, I'm the kind of person who will make a note if he sees a word he doesn't know in something he's reading, and then look it up later. That's why I have a sizable vocabulary ... or at least I like to think so, anyway.

5) Like many of my colleagues, I always dreamed of a job in the videogame industry. But I never thought it would happen -- mostly because I consider myself a rather mediocre writer. Knowing the ins and outs of the English doesn't magically make you a good writer; I fear that it's one of those things that's innate (or if it isn't a natural thing, then it's certainly something that's very hard to coax out of someone or teach). My writing may not have comma splices, but I can't see it ever being as engaging (or entertaining, for that matter) as the work of any number of the Destructoid editors -- especially because I tend to be very verbose. But I've begun to come to grips with that.

6) I'm a very musical person. My mom is a musician -- she sings and plays the harmonium -- so I guess that's where I got that from. I've been singing since I was a little kid, I took piano lessons for five years or so, and I've been "playing" guitar for the past six or seven years (I put the word in quotes because I don't really play my guitar all that often). Don't get me wrong -- I'm no naia-the-gamer (that woman is talented!) -- but I've never taken any guitar lessons, and I was always able to figure things out (on both piano and guitar) by ear. I think I have some characteristics of what's commonly referred to as "perfect pitch", which certainly helps. For example, I can often hear pitches and identify them without any external reference (like, I'll hear a bell ring, and be able to say, "That sounds like a D to me"). And I can produce notes without, say, a pitch pipe (ask me to hum a C, for example, and I'll do it easily). But of course, my laziness (see #2) prevented me from ever getting good enough to do anything with my musical-ness; when I was taking piano lessons, the most common thing my teachers would say to my mom was something like, "Samit has a lot of natural talent for music -- he could be really good if he just practiced for more than fifteen minutes a week." Oh well.

7) I'm 22, and so far, I've managed to escape even mildly serious injuries. I've never broken, ruptured, torn, fractured, or even sprained any bones/joints/organs/ligaments -- and it's not like I always sat inside playing video games. When I was younger -- like, up to the last two years or so of high school -- I spent a lot of time playing sports outside with neighbors. I played Little League baseball for ten years (age 5 to age 14), I used to ride my bike everywhere, I'd play basketball at the park or throw a football around -- and I still managed to escape unscathed.

8) I'm very introverted. I didn't really have any friends from grade school all the way through to the beginning of high school; I was picked on by my classmates a lot -- usually for my nerdiness, I guess, but also because I was (and still am, in many ways) kind of an awkward kid. Sure, I have friends now, but that's the kind of stuff that stays with you forever, and while I was always shy to begin with, the teasing caused me to retreat into my shell and stay there for longer than I would have liked to.

9) The counterbalancing force to my laziness is that I'm something of a perfectionist. I'm the kind of person who doesn't believe in half-assing things -- I'm one of those "if you're going to do it, then do it right" people. But I'm also slow when it comes to getting things done, so while I might craft a great finished product, it'll take me forever to do so. For example, I don't know how Nick and Jim bang out news articles in 10 or 15 minutes. Usually, even a minor news article will take me half an hour, at minimum -- but of course, the fact that I'm a huge procrastinator factors into that. I was always amazed how my friends who were in AP English in high school could just crap out essays in twenty minutes and get good grades on them -- I'm an especially slow writer.

10) I watch an absurd amount of television -- video games aside, I probably spend most of my free time watching TV. In fact, I don't usually hang out with my friends on weeknights, because there's almost always a show to watch. For example, I watched House at 8 PM tonight, followed by 24! I'm also really "into" other forms of media -- namely, music and movies -- and I've got rather specific tastes. I'm really interested in the "nuts and bolts" of filming -- for example, I always stay through the end credits when I see a film in the theater, just because I want to see stuff like the filming locations and the music used in the movie.

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