Monday, January 18, 2010

A Questionnaire

So, friends of mine keep sending me these "tell me about yourself" questionnaires, and I typically don't fill them in for a variety of reasons (lack of time ranks right at the top).  But, I actually have a few minutes of free time this evening.  No, that's a lie.  I have several hours before I need to go to bed if I'm going to get any sleep at all before going to work in the morning, and several days worth of work to do in that time, but I'm going to pretend I have free time anyway because, damn it, I need to do something lighthearted for a few minutes.

Anyway, what I've done is taken questions from several of these questionnaires, supplied the answers, and copied them below.  Enjoy learning more about me than I'm sure you ever wanted to know.

Birth Date & Location?

I was born at a very early age.  I came into this world on September 1, 1988, the very same day that Luis Alvarez, the American physicist and Nobel laureate (perhaps best known for his work on the extinction of dinosaurs), who would later become one of my personal heroes, died.  I was born in Aurora, Colorado and there are those who insist the town has never recovered.

Current Location?

I still reside in Aurora, though I've moved to a different end of town.  But that's just physically.  Mentally, and emotionally, I live wherever I want to, usually some place far away, and transported there and back through the magic of literary imagination.

Physical Characteristics?

Damned attractive for a goofy looking sonofabitch, if I do say so myself.  Unfortunately, I actually don't say so.  That being the case: roughly 6' tall, caucasian, brown hair, often with a beard.

Right Handed or Left Handed?

I write with my right hand, but I do strive to maintain some degree of ambidexterity.  It's important as a magician that I'm able to use both hands as well as possible.  So even though each action is scripted for a certain hand and not interchangeable, no one hand is more important than the other while performing.


During my childhood, I was raised to believe in the Catholic religion.  My mother was (and remains) Catholic, as were her family.  My father's family were Protestant, but since we lived closer to my maternal relatives, I went to church with them, and my father chose to stay home.  Over the course of years, I gradually leaned further and further away from the church, for reasons I won't go into here (you can read all about it when my book on the topic finally finds publication), eventually landing comfortably in my present position as an atheist.


Mostly Libertarian.  I tend to be liberal on social issues and more conservative on economic issues.  But I stray from the Libertarian "ideal" on some points, and distance myself from the "extreme" elements of Libertarianism.  The good news is, my views mean I will be able to find something to like in both liberals and conservatives.


Mostly European, but quite a mix, really.  Most of my ancestry has been within the United States for at least several generations, though.  Honestly, though, I don't care where my ancestors came from.  I just like people, regardless of heritage, and to that extent, just think of myself more as "human" than as defined by my ancestry, or even as American.

Fashion & Style?

Style?  What's that?  Actually, though I'm not much of a fashion critic, I do try to maintain something of a decent style.  Mostly, I prefer to express my style through actions and words than by appearance, but I don't want to look like a bum either.  When I go out, I like to wear a suit as often as is appropriate.  But where I work, that would make me hideously overdressed, so I usually just wear a decent pair of trousers and a t-shirt to work.

What is your weakness?

I don't consider myself a "weak" person at all, but it's still difficult to narrow it down to just one.  Intellectually, I think there may be some holes in my political philosophy that I haven't found yet, and that worries me somewhat.  Physically, I'm not as athletic as I'd like to be (not because I want to be an athlete, but being in better shape would be nice).  Emotionally, probably my desire for that kind of perfect love that I'm not even sure really exists.  But I hope it does.

Greatest fears?

On a personal level, my greatest fear is probably loneliness.  Not that I need people around me all the time.  I'm rather a solitary person and work well alone, but as I indicated above, the one thing I want above all else is that perfect love, and my greatest fear is that I'll never find it.  On a more global level, I fear that humanity might kill itself with its own ignorance (I won't go into the specifics of what I mean here).

Favorite foods?

Italian, Mexican, American.  I can't eat seafood (at all), but I'm actually not horribly picky about cuisines, though I'm perfectly happy just to get some pasta or a steak.  My favorite dessert, though, is tiramisu.

Most important goal for the next year?

I have a rather long list of goals I'd like to accomplish this year.  Some I will succeed at, others I likely won't (but I'll keep trying until I do succeed, even if it takes a few extra years).  I'd like to sell one of my books, for instance.  I'd like to start making a bit of money performing close-up magic.  But if I had to pick one single most important goal, it would be to find love.

What time do you go to bed?

It depends on the day, but usually fairly late.  Typically around 2:00 or 3:00 if I have to work the next day.  If I have the following day off (and no plans in the morning), usually a few hours later.

First thoughts upon waking?

"Ugh.  Is it still morning?  Wake me when it's lunchtime."

Pepsi or Coke?

I don't really care.  Of the two, I'd usually go for coke, but I'll drink either.  And in all honestly, I'll usually reach for the Mountain Dew first anyway.

McDonalds or Burger King?

McDonald's if it's for breakfast, Burger King if it's for lunch.  But really, I'd rather go somewhere without a drive-thru.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla, with chocolate toppings.

Lipton or Nestea?

I'm more of a coffee man, myself.  But if I am drinking tea, it's not going to be iced.  It will be hot.

Red wine or white?

With dinner, it depends on what I'm eating, of course.  It would be blasphemous to have white wine with steak or red with chicken, wouldn't it?  But if I'm just trying to enjoy a glass of wine for its own sake, I've got to go with red, no doubt about it.  And if I'm allowed to be particularly picky, a nice Pinot Noir would be lovely.

Do you smoke?

No.  I did, for four or five years.  Then I quit.  Now, I only have the occasional cigarette, typically as a celebration of something or other.  The only time I'll smoke more than the odd occasional cigarette is when I'm in Las Vegas.

Do you drink?

Yes, but not heavily.  I enjoy a nice glass of wine from time to time, or a whisky or two when out with friends.  But I've only actually gotten drunk a few times.

Do you swear?

What the fuck are you talking about?  I could deliver a lengthy dissertation on why profanity is actually a matter of superstition, but it's easier just to say "yes."

Do you sing?

Yes.  Badly.  When I'm alone or the music is loud enough that no one can hear me anyway.

Have you ever been in love?

I thought so at the time.  Now I'm convinced it was just something I ate.  But I do desire love.  Real love.  The lasting kind.

Have you been to college/university or do you intend to?

I have not, and I might want to someday.  Personally, I prefer to be autodidactic.  I love learning as much as I can about as many things as I can, but I like doing it on my own.  That having been said, I would like to earn a degree or two.

Do you want to get married?

Eventually, if I find the right person.  But absolutely not in a church.

Do you think you're attractive?

Not particularly.  But neither do I think I'm particularly unattractive.

Are you a health freak?

Hell no!  Though I am trying to make an effort to live a slightly healthier lifestyle, I don't think I'll ever be one of those health freaks.

Do you get along with your parents?

Usually, yes.  As long as certain topics can be avoided, because they both have some extremely bizarre beliefs and opinions that drive me absolutely crazy when I hear about them.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Of course!  Let me put it to you this way.  My fiction primarily centers around two genres: horror, and (very occasionally) romance.  What could symbolize or facilitate these better than thunderstorms?

Do you play an instrument?

I used to play piano.  I've fallen out of practice, but keep meaning to take it up again.  Tried learning guitar for a while, too, but never got any good at it.

In the past month, have you...

...Drank alcohol?

Yes, but not to excess.


Yes, once or maybe twice.

...Done drugs?

Only if aspirin counts.  I'm quite proud of the fact that I've never done any illegal drugs (not because of the legality, but because of the effect they have on the brain), and take the legal ones only rarely, when necessary for medical purposes.

...Been on a date?

Yes.  Nothing came of it, and so my quest for true love continues.

...Been to a mall?

I took a shortcut through a mall to get somewhere else.  Does that count?

...Been on stage?

No, not in the last month.

...Gone skinny dipping?

No.  I live in Colorado.  It's winter.  The shock would probably kill me.

...Stolen anything?

Of course not.  Nor would I.

Have you ever...

...Been drunk?

Yes, but rarely, and never to the point of passing out.

...Done drugs?

Nothing stronger than cold medicine.

...Been beaten up?

No.  I've never been in a physical fight, either.  I'm not a violent person, and I don't attract violence toward myself.  Plus, I'm big enough that even though I'm not a violent person, most people would think twice before starting something.



How do you want to die?

As an old man, with the woman I love by my side, content in the knowledge that I've led a long, successful, and meaningful life.

What country do you most want to visit?

That's a tough one.  I want to see the entire world.  Everything from the popular tourist spots to the relatively untouched wild, to the slums.  If I had to pick just one, right now...I'd have to say it's a tie.  Either France or Italy.

So there it is, a reasonable cross-section of the questionnaires I've received lately.  Many individual questions have been omitted for brevity.

Take care,