June 10, 2006

Jennifer’s Meme

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:29 pm

Jennifer started this, and now she and Gwynne and Jim have done it, so I can’t put it off any longer.

1. When you meet someone new do you trust them or do they have to earn your trust?
I take people at their word, but won’t truly count on them without knowing them well.

2. What do you pay attention to when you meet someone or visit with someone you know?
Hints on their outlook on life (optimist/pessimist) and how they treat the transient people you encounter, like waiters and bus drivers. I’m looking for a positive and respectful person.

3. When you were in high school or college what did you want to be when you grew up?
High School – a chemist. College – a concert roadie. Then, about a year too late, a computer scientist.

4. If you could have any career now what would it be?
Computer scientist. Or artist.

5. Name a life changing moment that made your life better. Why?
This comment thread at Eric’s place. (I was posting as ‘BB’ then). I’m so glad I finally found it!. The part you don’t see in that thread is where I kept repeating to myself Eric’s words: “…[t]hat’s between you and God. I just hope that you’ve truly talked that decision over with Him and that your motives are pure when you make the decision.” I hadn’t talked it over with Him at all, and that made me pretty uncomfortable. I realized I was faking that whole part of my life, and really started to look into it. Just over a year after that post, I was baptized and joined my church.

6. Name a life changing moment that changed your life for the worse.
Sheesh, I don’t know. When I moved away from Chicago hot dogs and pizza?

7. Which do you crave more-being at home or traveling?
Being at home, where I can be comfortable.

8. What do you collect?
Art supplies. Computer parts. Ambitions.

9. Do you have a recurring dream or nightmare?
Kind of. It’s very short but very specific. I’m in the hallway of the high school I graduated from, but only attended for three semesters. I can’t find my locker or remember the combination, the semester is almost over, and I can’t remember if I should have been attending a particular math class all this year. I haven’t been going, and I’m trying to figure out how to talk myself into a diploma anyhow.

10. Why did your parents give you the name they did?
First name, because nobody else in the family had it. Middle name because it’s my maternal grandfather’s first name, and he was the last man in his family, so his family name died with him. Just last month. My younger son also carries his name in the middle, now.

11. What motivates you?
Food. A sense of helping people with important things.

12. What scares you?
Letting down someone I love.

13. What three things do you need most day to day?
coffee, a little quiet, and time to draw.

14. What do you think God is like?
The ultimate physicist and compassionate provider.

15. What do you read?
The blogs in my blogroll. Popular Science, Discover and MacWorld magazines. Computery geekish things.

16. Name at least one book you’ve read that’s influenced your philosophy.
The Bible – at least what I’ve read of it so far, which isn’t enough. The Pragmatic Programmer. The Creative License. First You Have to Row a Little Boat

17. What thrills you?
Looking at a drawing I’ve done and honestly liking it.

18. What do you struggle with repeatedly?
Forgetfulness and inattentiveness.

19. What makes you laugh?
My boys. My wife. My sister. Badly-written advertisements.

20. What makes you cry?
Why does everyone want to know about the crying?

21. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years?
Less cluttered. More deliberate. More spiritual.

22. What is one thing you would like to achieve before you die?
Help my boys move into their first homes. Then drive back to mine without having to discuss question #20.

23. What talents do you have?
Quickly deriving the whole picture from small pieces of information. Fixing things around the house or on the computer. Making bread. Drawing (though I think this is more a skill than a talent).

24. Which one is your favorite and why?
Drawing, because it’s completely pointless. It serves no other purpose apart from the act, the observation and the creation. Everything else on that list is to serve some other purpose, and can get to be annoying when I need to do it, but don’t want to. I am never forced to draw.

25. What’s one thing you don’t think other people know about you that you would like them to know?
I am very critical of myself. When I disappoint you, I probably already know it, so a little word is all it takes for me to get the point. This makes me an annoying person to fight with, as I’ll concede your point (if – and only if – it’s a valid one) before you’ve had a chance to vent on me.



  1. I love your observation about other people’s treatment of the “transients” in our lives. It reminds me of a youth Sunday at my Ohio church when I was the youth minsiter there, back in the day. On this particular youth sunday, a senior named John delivered one of the mini-sermons. It was entitled “serve your servants”(you can probably glean the main point just from the title) and is one of two or maybe three sermons I’ve heard in my life that I can actually recall. And I’ve heard a whole lot of sermons.

    Comment by Jim — June 10, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

  2. I liked that observation also (about treating “transients” with respect)…I said to myself, “dang, why didn’t I think of that?” because that is so true…it is very important to me that people treat others as equals and with respect, regardless of socio or economic status.

    I also really liked #5, because I think Eric has done as much for a lot of people in his blog writing (and I would guess his life), but he’s so utterly humble about it.

    And #25 fits me to a tee. A little criticism goes a long way. I am usually my biggest critic.

    Comment by Gwynne — June 10, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  3. Um, guys…please see #20.

    Comment by Eric — June 10, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

  4. I think a lot of people are their own biggest critic, but most of us keep that to ourselves and try to act all perfect. Or is that just me?

    I think the whole “how you treat a waiter” thing is a pretty big key to one’s character. It’s like “how do you behave when you think nobody’s watching,” – but on an interpersonal level, and out there where other people can see. It’s been a pretty reliable indicator, in my experience.

    Eric – you’re just a well-respected guy. Around here, and in other places, it seems.

    Comment by Brian — June 11, 2006 @ 11:56 am

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