Getting To Know Your Nerd: Part I

You know what’s weird? Thanks to the internet and my profession as a librarian, I’ve developed some kind of following. It’s not a large following by any means. I don’t have an entourage nor would I ever want one. Yet I communicate with people on a daily basis who know absolutely nothing about me, who I am, and why I am the way I am. So while I was browsing the web looking at ideas for writing and boring things like that, I came across an exercise. Basically it said to write something about yourself on a personal level like someone was interviewing you. Who are you and why are you the way you are and that kind of thing. It sounded like fun, or at least something different than what I normally write, so I figured out a few things to write about.

Then I had a brainstorm. All of these folks I communicate with on Twitter might have some interesting questions for me. Surely they’d have ideas for questions far better than anything I could think up. I sent out a quick tweet and, sure enough, I received a flurry of questions and ideas for this little project. All of them were good, some of them were funny, and a few really made me think.

So here are answers about me. All of these answers are truthful, though I suspect they will have the standard sideways approach to them that I normally use. I’ve tried to write seriously, or at least as seriously as I can and, frankly, I just can’t do it. By my very nature I’m not a serious person for reasons which may become clear to you over the next few sentences here.

Name, age, and standard physical description are boring. I’m a guy and I look like a lot of other guys out there. I’m not particularly handsome nor am I horrendously ugly. I’m not a great athlete, but I’m not a sloth. In short, I am about as average as you can get in the physical stature department. If I have anything that stands out, it might be the fact that at only five foot five inches (165 cm), I don’t stand out as being very tall. That said, let’s see if there’s something more interesting here.

Attire
Normally, I wear cargo pants and loud Hawai’ian style shirts. Footwear usually consists of the same shoes I go running in, or occasionally a pair of SWAT boots which zip up the side and are just as comfortable as my running shoes. If I’m wearing name brand anything, it’s an accident of that name brand being on sale and I bought it because it was a good price. The only exception to that are my Nike shoes because they’re the best running shoes I’ve had. Comfort is the name of my fashion game. The pants are baggy and comfortable. They also have lots of pockets to hold the load of junk I normally have on me at any given time. Right now, I’m toting an iPod, cellular, keys, wallet, headphones, notepad, change, paperback book, and a receipt to Chipotle. I should probably toss that receipt.

If you get this reference to grooving, then you're probably a nerd too.

Spontaneous Grooving
I think life should have some kind of soundtrack. I’ve been a musician all my life and music just comes to me whenever it wants to and it seems to arrive often. I’m a keyboardist, but I also play drums. This means that, when someone approaches me at the front desk of the library, there’s a good chance I’m bopping along to something in my head or I’m literally drumming out a rhythm on the desk. I will do this at any time and it’s not uncommon for me to start bobbing my head in a staff meeting as I’m silently keeping time to a song that only I can hear.

Geek
When I was ten years old, my parents got me a Commodore 64 home computer and it changed my life. See, to get a Commodore 64 to do what you wanted, you had to learn a little BASIC programming because the front end on the computer was a BASIC interpreter. It was really a revolution in my way of thinking and living, but not for the reasons you may think.

I’m a hemophiliac, which means my blood doesn’t clot as quickly as normal people. What this meant is that I couldn’t take part in activities normally enjoyed by boys my age. Contact sports were out, so I couldn’t play baseball, basketball, soccer, or football. Parts of physical education class were off limits to me due to concerns about generic injury, joint related injury, or any other injury. So I was sidelined for those classes that the other boys thought to be the best part of the day. Because of that, I was teased, bullied, and picked on because I was the worst of all things you can be in a public school; I was different.

I felt powerless. Some of the teachers thought I was slacking off for no good reason. Others thought I was just wimpy, and the kids readily agreed. It was during elementary school that I learned the hard lesson that no one gives a good goddamn about your grades and reading level if you’re not going to play sports.

But with that computer I could do things. Type a few commands and POW! it did what I told it to do! Do you know what that feels like? To have that kind power over something when you never had any before? No drug in the world comes close to that euphoria I felt when I, the different kid, could make a computer do what I wanted not because I was bigger or stronger, but because I learned something.

Later on I got my first PC. Thanks to geeky friends, I learned how it worked and how it could be harnessed. I discovered I liked making computers talk to each other and I learned how to set up, manage, and operate a computer bulletin board system. Then along came the internet and the entrancement stepped up a notch because I wanted to know how this stunning new thing could be used to share information and ideas. So while I rarely programme anymore, I still get a kick of logging into my system and learning something new every time I hop online.

*****

So that’s a little bit of what I came up with for this. I had other ideas, but they got folded into the things people asked on Twitter. Like I said above, the Internet amazes me on a daily basis, and the fact that I could ask people all over the world “Hey, if you wanted to know something about me, what would it be?” blows me away. So here are the answers to the questions I received online.

A/S/L (Age/Sex/Location)
I was born on 31 August, 1976 which makes me 33 years old at this writing. However, I’m pretty sure that I stopped maturing around the age of 16 and I’ve been faking it ever since. I’m male, and I live in Gilbert, Arizona and work in the nearby town of Queen Creek.

What is your name?
Daniel Loran Messer. There’s a tradition in my family centred on the name Daniel. The name goes back through my heritage so my mom, whose middle name is Daniele, continued the line. Strangely enough, my mom’s obstetrician thought I was going to be a girl so my name was supposed to be Daniele Lorraine Messer. Things didn’t work out so well for that when I was born with a penis, so my parents made a slight change to the genders normally affiliated with those names.

What is your quest?
You know, I’m not really in search of anything more than decent coffee in a small cafe in Munich. I’ve already had coffee at a place right across the street from the Library of Congress and, for someone who digs on coffee and libraries as much as I do, that was an experience bordering on the orgasmic.

What is your favourite colour?
Purple. No I’m not making that up.

How do you get your head so shiny?
It’s not unusual for me to shave my head. There’s no big reason behind this so much as that I am a lazy bastard when it comes to how I look. I don’t want to comb my hair everyday and try and manage it throughout the day so I go the short route by removing it all together. When I shave my head, I really go all the way. A set of electric clippers does most of the good work and then it’s shower time to wash off the hair and take a four bladed razor to my scalp to finish the job. The reason my head is so shiny is quite simple, when my head is totally devoid of hair, it’s naturally shiny.

Now if I can only get that Yul Brenner look going, I’d be set. I think I’m getting close because when I put on a big ass set of headphones, I look like Lobot from The Empire Strikes Back.

What is your favourite body part on someone else?
Among the other things I do, I’m an artist. I’m not a particularly good one, but when I draw something it’s usually readily identifiable as the object I wanted to draw. As a result, I tend to look at everything on a person. No, this is not a cop out. If I’m trying to regard someone as a subject of inquiry or as a model for a picture (even if they will probably never model for me), I look at everything. The difference is that I gauge the balance between parts and features. Everything contributes to the whole and while some aspects of a person may detract from my limited ideas of beauty, others may add so much that things cancel out.

What I notice most readily is when things are out of balance on a figure. This happens a lot in the adult entertainment industry. You’ll see a female performer who stands around five feet tall, yet she’s got D cup breasts. Obviously she’s had breast enhancements, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, the physical aspect of her figure is completely unbalanced and I know that I’d have a hard time drawing a convincing portrait of her because people would think I drew her breasts too big.

For me, I like it when one thing just barely stands out from the rest. There should be something that catches the eye, but doesn’t throw itself in your face. As an example, look at actress Kiera Knightly. She’s hot, but she’s got a smallish chest along with a rather unpronounced butt connected to some lovely, but fairly standard legs. But damn, have you had a good look at her eyes? They don’t steal the show from the rest of her sexy figure rather than become the centerpiece for it.

Pet peeves?
George Carlin once said that he didn’t have pet peeves he had major, psychotic, fucking hatreds. That’s how most of my so called pet peeves go. I have a very low tolerance for willful ignorance, which is why I don’t get along with creationist type people who think the Earth is only 6,000 years old or something stupid like that. For the most part, the commonly displayed traits of those people make up for most of my peeves. They’re homophobic, something I cannot tolerate since a good many of my friends are gay, bi, or lesbian. They’re racist, a trait that is so outdated it should die out like the Australopithecus.

While I openly profess my laziness, I confess that it’s mostly a facade and that I just don’t understand true laziness. How can I be lazy when I’m writing and shooting an online show, playing in a library band, volunteering at a school library in addition to working at public library, writing for no less than four blogs, working on a book, raising two kids, running four or five miles per day, composing my own music, and more? The reason I say I’m lazy is that I enjoy doing all of those things, so I don’t really see them as being work. Seriously, I enjoy working at the library almost as much as I enjoy playing a game on the PlayStation 3.

So when I see someone sitting around doing fuck all, I don’t understand. Get up,  get going, and develop a passion about something, dammit!

3 comments

  1. This was awesome, thanks for sharing! (I came here via your twitter link.)

    I especially liked the part about your life as a boy without sports, ’cause I have a 9-year-old son who, for reasons having to do with a botched surgery, cannot do the “normal” things boys do. He’s totally fine, he just can’t do violent, full-contact stuff… which is most of what boys his age are into.

    Fortunately now there is some bonding that happens over video games, but then you have those pesky moms who limit electronics time and “force” the kids to go out and play. 😉

    Anyway, it was really neat for me to read about you finding your “thing” that made you happy despite all the things you could not do. I don’t know if this made any sense at all, but… I just wanted to thank you.

    🙂

    1. Awww, shucks! You’re welcome. 🙂

      To this day, I don’t even give a damn about sports except weird sports that you don’t see too much of here in America. I like watching a good soccer match even though I have no inclination to ever try the sport myself. I like watching cricket. I think, all in all, I was born on the wrong continent!

      GO ABERDEEN! 🙂

  2. Pet Peeves! I hate pet peeves since they all deserve the same fucking hatred equally. That is also a peeve of mine all this equality bullshit. We can’t survive for ever if we are all equal.

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