12 September 2007

8-things meme

Ages ago, TheBrummell memed me with the 8 Facts About You meme. Of course, TheBrummell (being Pedantic Man in his spare time) absolutely hates the verbing of nouns, so my first sentence should piss him off.

My guess is that I was also tagged for this meme by at least one other person and I just can't remember who it was. Sorry if I forgot to mention you if you did.

Apparently, we're supposed to display the rules first. Then we're supposed to tag 8 more people. Since I'm not going to bother with the latter, I'm going to give the ol' heave ho to the former as well. I will not be constrained by your rules.

Anyway, I'm superlazy right now, so instead of writing 8 facts from scratch, I will recycle a 5 things meme that I did earlier and just add 3 things to it.

First, the old 5:

1. I used to be a competitive swimmer in my youth. I did that for about 8 years, with all the stuff that high level competitive swimming entails. Ie. early morning practices, reeking of chlorine all day, and Speedos.

Scarring thing: I still wear Speedos now. Not usually on the outside, mind you - I have more sense than that. I usually wear them underneath my trunks. As I told someone from my department at university (and her boyfriend, also a competitive swimmer, agreed) once you're used to that level of support, there's no going back.

So how was I? I was a backstroker and, when I was 14, I was 13th in the province in my age category. That's not bad. However, my small town team of only about 40 swimmers managed to produce two other swimmers who each went to the Commonwealth Games - both of them backstrokers - making me look a lot crappier than I actually was.

2. I had braces as a kid. Wore them for 2.5 years. Hurt like hell whenever they were adjusted. My already complete lack of a social life as a kid was amplified into a mind-boggling trough of geekdom. No regrets though. Remember that classic Simpson's episode with the nuclear workers striking about Burns's attempt to remove their dental plan? Remember the simulation of Lisa if she didn't get braces? Yeah, that was me.

3. I love little fluffy dogs. The stupider looking and the smaller, the better. It doesn't really matter the breed. And I'll also accept miniature dachshunds. My wife calls me a "girly boy" because of it, but so what? They make me happy. However, I would never consider buying one. I like variety in my little dogs, and I'm far too busy to look after a little useless thing that isn't related by blood. Also, dogs are axpensive. I'll just continue to live vicariously through other people's dogs.

4. I'm half asian-half generic white guy. I also grew up in an area with practically no asian people around, so half asians were real oddities.

There is a weird possibility in this heritage though. My mom, who's asian, is mostly Chinese, but her family immigrated to Indonesia generations ago, in one case marrying into the local tribe of Dayaks. The Dayaks were notorious headhunter. My dad, who's white, has some Dutch ancestry. The Dutch colonized Indonesia. You do the math - We have no proof of anything happening, but there is a chance that some of my ancestors could have been killed by some of my other ancestors.

5. I'll probably post something about this in the near future, but my first job out of university was to design shit tanks. I shit you not. I don't mean little tiny septic tanks; I mean big, honking tanks that are part of sewage treatment plants. The largest tanks I've designed were over 30 m (~100 ft) in diameter and 10 m (~30 ft) tall in the case of the aerobic digester tanks (the ones that let the solids, ie. bacteria from your poop, burn themselves out and become inert), or 65 m (~210 ft) by 56 m (~185 ft) in the case of the aeration tanks (these provide oxygen to the microorganisms in the liquid waste stream to destroy any nasties in there).

Fortunately, I've moved on to other design projects since. It got a little annoying visiting with other grads of my program and hearing "I'm designing bridges," or "I'm designing parking garages," when I have to respond with "I'm designing shit tanks."

And now the new 3:

6. I have double-jointed elbows. Check this out:
Pretty nasty, huh? I can touch the insides of my elbows together yet have my wrists a couple of inches apart. Some people are really grossed-out by it; others aren't bothered at all. Regardless, it's good for feigning injury.

7. I like sleep a lot. And I do mean a lot. One of the best things about my wife is that she really enjoys sleeping in too. One time, we went to bed 2:00am Friday night, woke up Saturday at noon, went to the bathroom, went back to sleep, got up at 6:00pm, went to East Side Marios, ate a lot, went back to sleep. Man, we're so lazy on weekends. It's great.

Unless we've made plans, that is. If there are plans, I don't get to sleep in (and we've had plans almost every weekend since April). Our plans usually involve going out of town - meaning getting up early, lots of driving, and unfamilar/crappy beds. This results in me being tired and grumpy because I don't get enough sleep...much like I am during the rest of the week, actually.

8. I lived in a bachelor-sized basement apartment for three years during undergrad. Three years of the bleakest years of my life. I only had sunlight for about an hour each day at approximately 4:00 pm. The ceiling was low so that I felt claustrophobic all the time. Since the kitchen was the same as the bedroom (and air circulation was lacking, to say the least), all my clothes smelled like whatever I had been cooking (This actually resulted in people thinking I smelled pretty good - not in the "clean and fresh" kind of way, but in the "man, that's making me hungry" kind of way). My apartment was also infested with nearly white, spindly little spiders, which are almost impossible to see because my apartment walls were already off-white - camouflage in action.

Alright, that's my list. I hope it was enlightening.

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At September 12, 2007 7:51 p.m., Blogger tina said...

I love number 4! Have you did any digging into your background, tracing anyone, more than what you posted? That is so interesting, funny what catches peoples interest, huh.

At September 13, 2007 12:53 a.m., Anonymous mel said...

Brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

My fav is teh shit tanks. Bridges? Parking garages? How bland. Yours was an adventure beyond. I found the bio-chemical aspects fascinating.

Speaking of parking garages, Microsoft is building this 5000 stall behemoth down the street from my office. Supposed to be the second largest in Western Hemisphere. It's one hell of a hole -- just thought you might appreciate it.

At September 13, 2007 8:48 a.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Hi Tina, I'm glad you liked it :) Funy you should ask about more family background stories. My dad is a fairly serious genealogy buff. We've got parts of our family traced back to the 1600s.

One such incident came from a fairly drunken branch of the family. A guy crushed himself to death when he slipped and fell while carrying a large yule log into the house for Christmas. Another (frighteningly close, still living) relative broke his hand when he punched a cow; you see, the cow stepped on his foot, so he tried to get the cow to move by punching it. Big mistake. He broke his hand and the cow still didn't move until it felt like it.

Hey Mel, the biochemical aspects are a whole 'nother can o' worms. It's actually a neat story to tell, and if I could find my 4th year shitwater notes (read: water/wastewater engineering notes) I could tell you about it. But since I'm a structures guy, I haven't looked at that stuff in years.

Wow, that's a big garage. I'm impressed. That hole puts my hole to shame.

At September 13, 2007 9:17 a.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

FYI, the prisoner picture for item #8 is not exactly appropriate for the bachelor apartment. I mean, the cell has much higher ceilings and looks to be about the same size as my apartment, and the window is much, much bigger.

At September 13, 2007 5:05 p.m., Blogger TheBrummell said...

I have double-jointed elbows.

Also useful for breaking open termite mounds and the like, I imagine.

I lived in a bachelor-sized basement apartment for three years during undergrad.

I did that, too. One year in one, then two more years in another, even smaller one. The second one of mine beats yours: the window looked out into the carport, which was under the living room of the upstairs part of the house. When my van wasn't parked there, occassionally my idiot neighbour would back his full-size anonymous white van (rapist?) into the spot and leave the engine running, filling my tiny place with toxic fumes. No direct sunlight at all, ever. My bed was a futon, which I shifted into couch mode whenever I wanted to watch TV. There was no stove or oven, just a double-burner hotplate with damaged knobs. Lots of microwave cooking. No little white spiders, though.

At September 15, 2007 7:23 p.m., Blogger Necator said...

@ Mel:

It's not the firsst time Microsoft is digging a hole.

re: geneology:

The Nazis burned ours (along with a few family members, but hey)...so there is now a less compltete record than before.

re: "That hole puts my hole to shame."

LOL! Best line ever!

re: Bachelor pad
I never could afford one so always a had a roommate. I lived in a place called Beverly Hills Apartments once. It was populated mostly by the ederly. The kitchen in our apartment was 42 degrees celsius in the winter. No joke. We wore shorst and no shirts in the winter time...as for the summers...well.

There is nothing wrong with speedos unless you are overweight, very hariy or visibly decrepit. Wear them with pride in full view! We North Americans are way too prudish and have too much of a double-standard.


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