25 Facts about me. Why am I doing this? Well, what can I say. I’m a sucker for filling in surveys and quizzes and questionnaires like this.
1. I have a circulatory disorder known as Reynaud’s Disease, and it basically means I get painfully cold hands and feet. So much so that I can’t really touch Beth’s skin in winter until I’ve warmed up first.
2. I have formally studied the following martial arts: 2 years ITF taekwondo, 2 years shotokan(?) karate, two years WTF taekwondo, 1.5 years shinto-ryu karate, four months Yang tai chi, two years Chen Pan Ling tai chi, two years wu-wei dao (primarily goju ryu karate), and three years mugai ryu iaido. I also have some small experience in jodo, kobudo, baguazhang, and hsing-i. I’ve tried my hand at a few different martial arts, and from all my experience I’ll say this: it’s not the style, it’s the teacher that matters. Find a good teacher and you’ll be awesome at whatever you do.
3. I am attempting to grow a ponytail. So far it’s just the hair on the back of my head, but I reckon I’m about five months away from being able to pull all of my hair back and tie it in place.
4. Bethwyn and I have been going out for five and a half years now. Woo!
5. I can semi-fluently speak the fictional language “Dino” from Starfox Adventures on the Nintendo Gamecube. All I’ve ever used it for is writing covert notes to myself.
6. I’m a mostly-vegan. I do slip sometimes, but generally speaking I don’t really need animal products to be happy. And when I do, I eat them.
7. My favourite animal is the wolf, and yet I know sadly little about them. The romance of being a pack hunter appeals to me.
8. Despite my obsession with the martial arts, I am repelled by violence and unkindness.
9. When I was ten, my best friend was an invisible girl named Velvet. (She was named after Joanna’s generic twin sister from Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64.)
10. I’m a bit of a Nintendo fanboy. So far I’ve owned the NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii, Gameboy, Gameboy Colour, DS, DSlite and 3DS. I feel bad about not yet buying the WiiU, but there’s just not enough out there that appeals to me right now. And from experience with the 3DS, if I just wait a year they’ll bring out a cheaper model which is superior in every way to the model that people lined up for on launch date.
11. “Wizard” is the word I use to compliment someone who is skilled in something. For instance, I refer to a colleague as a fish wizard, and to myself as a “monitor stabilisation wizard”.
12. My favourite game series of all time is the Legend of Zelda. Ocarina of Time stands out as my favourite, and then second place is held by Windwaker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Yet despite my love for the series, I still haven’t played about half the Zelda games (though I’ve bought them and can start them at any time.)
13. I try quite hard not to buy new stuff. Clearly I’m failing because I took home a fish yesterday, but I’ve come to the realisation that most of the stuff we hoard won’t make us any happier on unhappier. Humans need very little to live, and to live happily, and I regularly donate large portions of stuff to op shops.
14. I’m totally for diversity in sexuality, and the respectful expression of this. If you like the idea of having more than one sexual partner, or if you secretly fantasise about having a penis, or you like the idea of being with transgendered people, good for you.
15. One of my proudest moments was when I punched a fly off my friend’s chest. I hit him soft enough to save the fly’s life (and not squish it on his shirt), but hard enough to stun it so that it fell unconscious to the floor.
16. I love my own writing. I love my use of language and my narrative voice. I often re-read stories, blogs and essays I’ve written just for the pleasure of seeing a well-constructed sentence or a clever progression of ideas. Obviously, not all of my entries are particularly eloquent.
17. I’ve almost completely eradicated the word “should” from my vocabulary, and it secretly bothers me when people use it.
18. I don’t have a computer. I’m borrowing my brother’s, and sometimes I use Beth’s. I dislike the idea of being chained to it, but unfortunately this means I get quite out of the loop for what’s happening online/in the world. I generally avoid reading emails until I’m in the right space of mind and have an appropriate amount of hours to tackle all the microactions that have built up.
19. I have OCPD – Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. But honestly, if you judge me by that, you don’t know me very well. To me, mental illness labels are often tools to help you understand yourself, not diagnoses of disease which need treating. (At least, not always. I concede in many cases that medical treatment is very important.)
20. I’m going to Japan at the start of next year! I’d really love to learn more Japanese and practice it more often! But how..?
21. At one stage I was training five or six days for like fourteen hours a week. Now it’s a little more settled at around two or three days a week for about 3-5 hours.
22. I’ve started creating my own “xing” or “kata” (form, or pattern of martial arts techniques) using the unbreakable umbrella I bought. Even though it’s based on another xing, it’s quite challenging to figure out ways of applying the same principles and techniques using an umbrella instead of a fist (or tiger claw/crane break). So far it’s got some pretty cool balance poses, hooks and traps, flicks, strikes, thrusts and deflections. Not quite finished with the first draft though.
23. The greatest meal I ever had was on a Buddhist one-day meditation retreat. After hours of peaceful meditation, my mind slowed down so much that the intensity of flavour and texture in the meal was unrivaled. I strive to achieve such a level of mindfulness again.
24. Alas, despite my loving heart, I have great trouble giving blood. I get dizzy very easily and don’t like to think about needles. How far I’ve come from the young man who would dare the doctor to inflict pain upon him so that he might test the strength of his spirit.
25. Twenty five was way too long. Here, have a link to Beth’s blog instead. Beth, consider yourself tagged.