This 7 Things meme has been going around, and despite having been tagged by a couple of people I tried to stay away from it, but Chris Shiflett proved to be the proverbial straw to my proverbial camel, so here goes my entry.
My 7 things, in no particular order are:
- I have an affinity for languages. I can start to pick up words and phrases after being in a new language environment for a couple of days. This usually leads to me getting a book or taking lessons, and this is how I randomly know some Norwegian, Korean, and can read most of Katakana. The language I’ve invested most into – about a year of classes – is French. My reading comprehension is good, but definitely need to keep studying to improve hearing and speaking ones. The love for languages is also responsible for me doing a Master’s degree in Linguistics at San Jose State University, which, sadly, I had to abandon halfway through due to moving to San Francisco.
- I know how to sail. I love being on the water, and I always wanted to try sailing, and once I moved to Bay Area I had no more excuses, because this is one of the best places in the world to learn that. I got my first level certification at Spinnaker Sailing, which means that I can take out boats up 27 feet long for a day sail. So not that I’m going to enter America’s Cup anytime soon, but I am pretty confident on the water and I will probably take some more lessons this year. My dream is to cross Pacific on a boat someday.
- I have knack for identifying Polish accents. Not sure where this particular talent comes from, but I’ve done it a few times on a bet. It works particularly well when an attractive waitress or barmaid is the subject of such a bet.
- I am not really from Russia. My friends love calling me by the nickname “White Russian”, and Shiflett went an extra mile and made a t-shirt featuring this, but I’ve misled them all. I am actually ¾ Ukranian and only a ¼ Russian, and I was born and grew up in Uzbekistan. So I wonder if I can concoct a drink called White Ukranian. Any ideas?
- I met my ex-girlfriend at a PHP conference, specifically the awesome PHP Cruise to Bahamas, put on by PHP Architect. Some of you were there, and some of you heard stories. All of them are true. Or none of them. I don’t remember anymore.
- I’ve never been skydiving or bungee jumping. And I’m not planning on doing either one. But I did enjoy the glider flight that Jeremy Zawodny took me on.
- Even though I was always interested in computers, I wasn’t planning to end up in Web stuff. My passion back in the days was computer graphics, and my dream was to work on visual effects for films. I took Fine Arts classes ending up with a minor in that subject, went to SIGGRAPH for 6 years, interviewed with such companies as ILM and Sony Pictures Imageworks, and spent a lot of money on graphics gear and software – hey, I even had an SGI O2, if you remember what that was. In the end, I was fortunate enough to realize that my talents lay elsewhere and that I would be more successful if I applied them properly.
I think I might be the last person in the PHP world doing this, so I am not going tag anyone.