Like pretty much everyone else on the web, I’ve finally been tagged in the “Seven Things” meme that is going around. It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with seven things that you don’t know about me, since I’m not sure how many of my close friends read this. Still, I’ll try and make the points interesting. If you don’t find at least one interesting, I’ll give you a full refund.
1. Since my freshman year in high school, I’ve been certain I’m meant to have a career in a never-ending parade of fields. The earliest I can remember is law, then photography, politics, the ski industry, public policy, nonprofit management, law again, brewing, radio, pub ownership, bookselling and publishing. I’ve been lucky enough to at least dip my toes in most of these vocations. Professionally, I’ve gotten to work as an intern in the ski industry and spend my days now as a bookseller. I’ve developed serious chops (I hope) in photography and brewing as hobbies, and I was a student DJ in college. I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world right now, though an increase in prestige or pay wouldn’t get any complaints from me. Still, with my interests being so varied I wonder what I’ll be doing years down the road, and where.
2. Like Ann, my love of books is often rivaled by my love of music. While in the age of iPods it doesn’t mean as much to say this, I have weeks worth of music on my computer. While I’ve played video games since I was a kid, I bought an xBox 360 back when they were more expensive solely so I could spend a couple hundred more dollars to get Rock Band. I’m sometime resistant in admitting I could never pull off the punk look or personality, but it is easily my favorite genre of music. I’m in the “The Clash is the greatest band ever” camp, and most of my other favorites music was directly influenced by Jones, Strummer, Simonon and Headon.
3. I’ve developed a reputation among my peers in the book world as kinda the beer guy. Guilty as charged. Strangely enough, I was never really an underage drinker, and didn’t have a beer I liked until I went to Germany in 2005. Ironically, a British pub in Berlin turned me on to beer via Guinness and Kilkenny, and soon after I fell in love with the infamous German beer styles and culture. Since then, I’ve been a homebrewing, craft-beer-loving, beerfest-attending hophead. I’d like to think I make people want to appreciate and enjoy good beer, rather than coming off as a lush!
4. Though my lack of religious convictions keeps me from using the term “blessed” too often, I can’t think of a more appropriate word for the family I’m stuck with. There isn’t a thing I’d change about how my parents John and Marty raised me, and they are still a massive part of my life. My mother is more loving and doting (in a good way) than anyone I can think of, and I’ve taken the age-old tradition of idolizing my father to the extreme. They are both utterly amazing people, and more a part of the person I am than any of the other things on this list. I also have an identical twin, Jake, who inspires pride and envy in me every day. Jake is a talented writer, a creative genius in various media, and is far more comfortable in his skin than I am. Plus we’re identical twins, so y’know – he’s a good lookin’ dude.
5. “Glass half full” is probably not a strong enough term to express the depth of my optimism. I am cheery to no end. If a thunderstorm is rolling in, I’m the one who looks to the sky and sees a spiderweb of silver linings. Cynicism hasn’t dug into me too deeply, and I tend to think everything I’m currently enjoying is the best thing since sliced bread. I’m sure this can be grating on people around me, but I’ve been too starry-eyed to notice if it has.
6. Like most people, I wish I’d been smart and confident enough in high school act like the person I am now, rather then spending time stressing and worrying what people thought. Once I was in college, I was exposed to a wider array of people and personalities than I ever was in Waldoboro, Maine. Nowadays, I am an unapologetically book reading, video game loving, Star Wars referencing geek. And, surprise surprise, I’m more laid back and have an easier time making friends now that I’m more comfortable with my own personality.
7. I’m not much for making New Year’s resolutions, but this year I made one simple enough that I’ve stuck to it. Inspired largely by this article from iFanboy, I’ve been writing to comic book creators, writers, artists, and other folks whose work I enjoy to thank them for their creations. One amazing thing about the internet is the democratization that has come with it, and I’ve been shocked to get sincere notes of thanks back from many of these folks. I’ve reviewed three books in the last month on this blog, and all three authors have contacted me to thank me. I’m flattered to be followed on Twitter by two of my favorite writers about comics, Josh Flanagan and Paul Montgomery from iFanboy. I’ve had questions about books answered by folks at Marvel and by creators like Jamie McKelvie. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to participate in writing on the websites Murmur and Books on the Nightstand. All this, just from letting people know I like their work, is a powerful feeling.