I’ve been seeing a lot of these “10 Things You Didn’t Know About X” recently, and -- as is the usual standard -- I figured I’d give it a shot when the movement is at the fringes of relevance, and people have geared up to take the next societal plunge. It’s probably the reason why my cell phone is always two generations behind everyone else’s…but I digress.
Let’s not waste any time with these pleasantries, shall we? Much like most of you, I’m on a tight schedule; I’m due for a hot dog luncheon at five. Although, incidentally…
10) Voltech eats hot dogs and oatmeal way too often.
I’m not much of a cook. I’ve never succeeded in burning any buildings to the ground, or giving myself or anyone else food poisoning, but bringing up my “famous BBQ sandwiches” reminds me of a darker moment in my culinary history. So I prefer to keep things simple when it comes to food. How simple? If I can’t leave it to the microwave to do 84% of the work, then it’s not worth the effort.
That’s why I rely on hot dogs and instant oatmeal so much, I suppose. Hot dogs make a quick lunch or dinner, and they go great with any potato-based side dish. Meanwhile, oatmeal makes a solid breakfast meal; say what you will, but it’s delicious AND nutritious. Though I suppose I’m not much of a good measure; I’ve liked broccoli since I was four, so…yeah, odd tastes.
9) Voltech is a thinker, not a fighter…or a sportsman, or anything involving athleticism.
Apparently, I have a big head. My brother gave me crap for it when we were younger (and still rides me for it every now and then). My mom said my head was big ever since I was a baby. I have a distinct memory of my dad poking fun at the shape of my head. I try not to put too much stock in it, but I suppose it would explain why I’m awful at sports. When I was in Little League, I got smacked by the ball and cried in almost every game. When I played basketball in P.E. one year, I went for a lay-up and ended up falling flat on my ass (and no, the ball didn’t go through the hoop). Me playing soccer involves me mostly getting kicked in the calves by girls.
But what I lack in sports hero potential, I make up for with…intelligence? Sure, let’s call it that.
Made it into college on a scholarship, and got no lower than a B-average in any class during my stay. Won a few awards in writing contests. Know the difference between “affect” and “effect.” You know what they say about people with big heads? Well…actually, I don’t. I don’t even know why I brought it up. But when people say I’m “the smartest black guy they’ve ever known,” I take that as a compliment. Er…mostly.
8) Voltech once slipped on a banana peel in the name of science.
Sometimes smart people will do dumb things if it’s for a good cause. Such was the case one summer afternoon, when I’d just finished eating a banana and was about to throw away the peel. I was outside at the time, in the family’s garage, so throwing it away meant partaking in the asinine act of walking out of the garage, heading around the backyard, and dumping it in the trash can outside. It seemed like a waste of time and effort.
And then I had a thought: could that ancient ritual of slipping on a banana’s citrine sheath, codified by countless cartoons of old, possibly hold truth? I had to investigate. I had to put all my reservations to rest. And thus, I flung the peel to the ground and stepped upon it. It worked like a charm.
Though, to be fair, I doubt I could reproduce the same effect in different conditions. I didn’t bother to take in the lurking variable of the garage’s floor -- a surface that had probably been slickened by the oils and fluids from vehicles. Silly me, conducting an experiment without a control in place…
7) Voltech can write up to 6,000 words a day (in perfect conditions).
Those of you that have seen my blog posts before know that I can get a little…shall we say, wordy. It’s been a consistent problem of mine for years. It goes as far back as elementary school; when third-graders were content with making 6-page short stories, I wrapped it up at the 25-page mark. When papers only had to be about 1,800 words, I slipped in one that nudged just past 3,100. (I think that when it came to papers, it was a passive-aggressive attempt to get revenge on my teachers for assigning me essays and reports in the first place. If I have to suffer, so do you!).
I’ve confessed several times that my four favorite things in the world are writing, hot dogs, power metal, and video games. I tend to indulge in all four, given the chance. Therefore, I tend to write like a madman at times (i.e. often), regardless of word count or word limit or how sleepy I am. That might go to explain why I have several 360+ page files on my laptop right now. It was just one big file, but…well, Word tended to crash if I so much as scrolled a page when it was loading.
6) Voltech once ran down an escalator going up.
Believe it or not, this wasn’t done in the name of science. Arguably, it was a matter of life or death.
I was at the campus bookstore, and had just grabbed a few books for the day. Unfortunately, the store’s setup proved disastrous; the books I needed were on the second floor, accessible only by a pair of escalators -- one up, one down -- and an elevator for employee use only. In my haste (and because I’d zoned out on my trip thanks to some metal blasting through my ears), I didn’t bother thinking about how I was going to get down. The escalator was out of order. Kaput.
I could have stood around waiting for the elevator traffic to clear up. Or -- again, with metal setting my heart ablaze -- I could man up and go down the up-escalator. “How hard could it be?” I asked myself. “Besides, I’m a relatively healthy male; I can handle this, no problem!” As it turns out, the task is harder than you’d expect; those hoping to head down with a leisurely stroll would find themselves back at the top in a moment’s time. You have to move quickly, almost as if breaking into a jog.
Only the strong -- or sufficiently hare-brained -- can surmount those scheming steel steps.
5) Voltech wants to get published this year and become the embodiment of hope.
Keeping up the “one goofy item, one semi-impressive item” trend, here’s something that should be very obvious by now. As I’ve said, I fancy myself a writer. I’ve got stuff that’s (kinda-sorta) ready to go, I spend most of my days rat-a-tat-tapping at my laptop, and there’s the whole going to college to improve my skills thing. I’d wager it’s time to put that stuff to the test, yes?
My goal is to get published by virtue of some manly-ass stories. Stories that feature ghost-punching, samurai-slashing, Godzilla-wrestling, hero-filled adventures for the ages -- I want to write stuff that can put a smile on readers’ faces. And more than that, I want to pave the way for other would-be writers with a dream -- people with skills and aspirations that surpass my own ten times over. People need heroes; I want to be the guy that helps bring more of them into the public conscious.
I’d argue I have a better chance of success in that regard than being a doctor. People’s insides are gooey.
4) Voltech has a…fixation on the number 4.
Four is such an awesome number. It’s the basic foundation of every element of construction. It makes games like Four Square and hands like Four of a Kind possible. It’s a much-maligned emblem of death and misfortune in Asian cultures, thanks to the fact that a word for it, “shi,” is synonymous with the word for death. Wait…
Maybe it’s just because I have a propensity for getting entangled with the number four. I’m the fourth member of a family of four (excluding two dogs). My favorite color is green, the fourth color of the rainbow. My senior class in high school had about four hundred forty students. I was born at about 4 P.M. I could go on, but I’m running out of examples.
Anyway, four rules. Odd numbers can suck it.
3) Voltech hates being called a “genius.”
Weird, huh? Normally it’s used as a compliment, but I always get a little tense when someone calls me that.
I guess you could say I’m smart. Not the smartest, but smart enough to get by. I know that there are a lot of guys out there that are better than me, smarter than me, more skilled than me, what have you. I’ve met my fair share of them. It’s nice knowing that I can use the skills I have to help people, but I’ve got my limits. The problem is that, when someone calls you a genius, they assume you don’t have any. That you know everything. That whatever problems they have, you can solve them.
And I certainly don’t. But it puts a lot of pressure on me when people expect me to have all the answers, or have everything under control. When I was in second grade, people thought I was the best of the best; what would they have done, knowing that I had trouble spelling Mississippi or Tennessee? How could I face them if they knew I wasn’t an ace at long division? It bugged the hell out of me, knowing that I was on call for info or instructions at any moment, even if I didn’t know. And it bugged me even more, looking at their crestfallen faces when I had to turn them away with a quiet “I don’t know.”
So yeah. Don’t call me a genius, unless you want to see me get as morose as I just did here. Besides, we writers have to maintain our modesty.
2) Voltech hopes to one day own a giant robot. (Barring that, a mech of sizable proportions.)
This should go without saying.
1) Voltech is the self-proclaimed “Eternal Optimist.”
Surging lightning, purifying the heavens! The Emerald Thunderbolt charges through the sky! Evildoers, fear the flash of my halberd! For I am…!
...a bit of a ham.
Ahem. Yeah, I can be pretty weird at times. Pretty crazy, too. Pretty smart, pretty ambitious, pretty irreverent, pretty hare-brained, pretty opinionated, and pretty dedicated to a certain broccoli-style coiffure. But amidst it all, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. People are good, and life is good -- and even when they’re not, they have the potential to become better. That applies in more ways than one; I believe in human potential, skill, and ingenuity more than anything else in the world.
Why? Because of video games, obviously. Ignoring the fact that in games, even a humble, fairy-less ten-year-old can grow up to become a nightmare-slaying guardian of time, think about the hobby we all love so much. They’re getting bigger, fancier, more popular, more intricate; our ability to create has evolved, and will continue to evolve. We’ve done amazing things so far, us humans -- and it’s only a matter of time before we go even further.
And rest assured, I’ll do what I can to fulfill my lofty opinions. It’d be pretty hypocritical of me not to, don’t you think?
...Because justice will prevail.
Bonus: Voltech wants to see this picture in an internet meme.
I think you guys know what to do.