Thursday, December 21, 2006

5 things you don't know about me.

Greg just meme-tagged[1] me! The unwavering rules of the internet now compel me to reveal five things you didn't know about me.

Here we go!

  1. In the late 80's, my family went on a European vacation. Just prior to leaving, I was in the process of becoming a cool guitarist (pre-Guitar Hero days). Of course, my interpretation of cool was slightly different to other preteens. Cool for me involved making my own guitar pickup, which involved wrapping very fine wire around little ferrite cores and encasing them in hand molded plastic. The resulting pickup was a misshapen blob with wires dangling out of it. For some reason it got stuck to the bottom of my bag and traveled around the world with me, unnoticed at any of the previous security checkpoints that we passed through on our journey.

    At Heathrow Airport security was stepped up, as a few months earlier the Lockerbie Bombing occurred. (Of course, in the 1980's high-security at an airport post a successful terrorist attack was mild compared to the mess I recently had to go through after the foiling of the speculated liquid bomb attack a few month ago...) When my device of questionable intent was discovered by an X-ray inspection, my entire family was quickly surrounded by soldiers wielding M-16s. Upon manually searching my bag, they found my plastic explosive and a triggering device. The triggering device was a very neat Casio PB-700 calculator that my family bought me in Hong Kong a few weeks earlier. Being a nerd, by the time we arrived in London, I was half way through taking it apart. It was easy to understand how my innocent guitar pickup and disassembled calculator looked rather nefarious.

    After a damn stringent examination of all of our possessions and individual interviews we were allowed on the plane (which I single-handedly delayed by a few hours) to continue on our flight to Paris. My parents weren't too happy about this. The other passengers on the flight were fuming. The staff on the plane refused to serve us. Meanwhile, I was pissed that they took my calculator.

  2. Needless to say, my family wasn't happy when, the following week, I demagnetized our boarding passes at Charles De Gaulle.

  3. In Year 9 of school (or, as you Americans call it, Middle Junior High Sophomore?!), I was placed in the remedial math class. I had just transferred schools and I clearly didn't do so well on my placement tests. What struck me as peculiar was that rather than giving the role of remedial math teacher to someone who could impart math knowledge, instead the school had our rowing coach teach the class. What I didn't learn about simultaneous equations was more than compensated for by my practical education in how to smoke in class without getting caught. I did manage to do well enough on the semester quiz to get placed in the advanced course, but by the time I graduated I was back to being a failure of the university system. My first exam, which happened to fall on my 18th birthday, ended in a dramatic failure when for the long essay portion the only words I wrote in the answer booklet were "Schwann Cells." Despite my 51% grade average, it took me 5 more years to realize that I didn't actually want to be a doctor.

  4. At an age when I was old enough to know better, but young enough to be foolish, I was caught hacking into a phone system. Somehow I got out of that one without charges being laid. *Phew*

  5. I despise musical theatre. I am more than happy to sit through a 12 hour production of Angels In America, but I walked out of Rent ASAP.

[1] Wow. meme-tag, that's Web 2.0++


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