25 Things About Me

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After first being tagged by William (requesting only seven things) and subsequently by Sanjeev, Sorin, and Paul through Facebook, I have finally gotten round to compiling my own self-absorbed list. Here is the list that I published on Facebook:

  1. According to family legend, I was named Eric after Eric the Red, having been born with red hair. The color lasted until my first bath.
  2. I can’t remember ever actually studying throughout my primary and secondary school years. But I loved the biography section of my elementary school library. My favorites were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Van Buren (I have no idea why), Amerigo Vespucci, Giovanni di Verrazano, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t think I ever picked up a book again until my senior year of high school when I became obsessed with the existentialists — mainly Sartre, Camus, and Kafka.
  3. When I was in 4th grade I became obsessed with piranhas, leading my teacher, Mrs. Kielson, to absolutely forbid me from ever discussing piranhas in class again. Ever since, I have consistently developed arguably healthy obsessions for off topic subjects, including Bruce Lee, Bob Marley and Reggae, existentialism, Spanish, Opera, women with strange names and Jazz.
  4. The three most meaningful “sentimental” relationships in my life have all been with women whose names start with the same consonant and end with the same vowel. If you don’t already know any of them, I would highly doubt you’d be able to guess any of their names. No, this is not an invitation to guess nor is it Wheel of Fortune. By the way, I could never understand why anyone would willingly buy a vowel.
  5. Notwithstanding the aforementioned (I learned that phrase in law school), my first real crush was in third grade: Mariko-san from the fifteen hour-long Shogun miniseries. I was sure, even up to the very end, that she would survive.
  6. My real dream, ever since I was a kid, was to be writer. Unfortunately and irrespective of the fact that I am an expert digresser, I rarely have a story — in the true sense of the word — to tell. In the meantime, I compile my digressions and unsolicited opinions @ http://graveerror.net.
  7. I wish I could read Norwegian Wood for the first time ad infinitum. Whenever I read anything by Haruki Murkami, I feel like he’s just written the novel that I had planned on writing my entire life. I also wish I had written The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao before Junot Diaz, though I would have used a totally different subject matter.
  8. My favorite poems are “Vals” and “He ido marcando . . .” by Pablo Neruda, “Extinguish thou mine eyes” by Rainer Maria Rilke, and “The Afternoon Sun” By Constantine Cavafy.
  9. When looking back, some of my most embarrassing moments – break dancing, beat boxing, purchasing the soundtrack to Grease when it first came out, dressing up like Luke Skywalker in 1977 – can today be recounted with a certain degree of respectability as there are groups of people (mainly freaks, many of whom worked with me at FON) who now appreciate these things. I wonder what’s worse: one’s former participation in an embarrassing fad or the realization that by having participated in historic cultural moments we’re irreversibly getting old?
  10. I am adverse to numbers (and dysentery). I tried to solve the math problems on the SATs by focusing solely on the answers rather than reading the questions. My theory was that the test makers tended to prefer odd, prime numbers, and that consequently X would most likely always be 3, 5, or 7. As you can imagine, I did not go to Harvard. I later went to law school because there was no math on the LSAT. As you can tell, I over analyze everything until I have formulated an unproven qualitative theorem that satisfactorily rationalizes my personal shortcomings.
  11. My favorite memories of childhood are with my maternal and paternal grandparents in NJ and The Bronx respectively.
  12. While I now prefer Jazz over most other musical genres, every time I hear something from the 80s I am immediately transported back to that pre-adulthood sense of innocence and hope.
  13. I could have been defined as a jock in high school. I literally lived for playing soccer, but ironically I was fairly indifferent about winning. I just enjoyed the aesthetics and sense of freedom I got from playing. An injury in my senior year ended my soccer days, and I have never quite found a substitute for that feeling of freedom ever since.
  14. For reasons unknown to me, people randomly seek me out for their counsel or to share their problems. For example, while working at the IE Business School, I had on average one student per week break out into tears in my office.
  15. FON was both my favorite and least favorite place to work. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the tale of two companies.
  16. Kindness is above all else what I most appreciate in another person. Good looks and a nice body are also welcome.
  17. Voluntarily breaking up and/or quitting a job are two of the most liberating feelings, not to mention great remedies for acid reflux.
  18. I am the ultimate homebody, and although I am sociable, I have strong anti-social needs as well. I am never bored at home in my own company. It’s how I unwind.
  19. I am a firm believer that all manifestations of anger are related to one’s own failure and inability to control one’s surroundings, and as such anger is more a sign of one’s own weakness than the fault of some external culprit. While I almost never get angry or hold a grudge and am pathologically forgiving, I often times attribute this lack of anger more to cowardice than to any lofty personal quality.
  20. I love to debate (I think I get this from my great uncle Tony), build my argument and defend it, even if it is purely for sport. But when something bothers me, generally some perceived injustice, I will literally lose sleep over it, tossing and turning in bed while I engage in a mock debate with the culpable party. By morning, I am relieved of the anger and forego the real life confrontation; hence #19, anger and cowardice. Or would that just be the “cooling off period” attenuating circumstance between voluntary manslaughter and second degree murder?
  21. Whenever I want to prove the point that Spaniards lack objectivity about their country (and are closet nationalists), I simply make a slight criticism about their food (for example, that it lacks variety). Try it. It is a total riot. They always go ballistic. Always, sin falta.
  22. I love eggplant parmesan, chocolate pudding, pre-salmonella outbreak Nutter Butters, and could live off of sandwiches alone (just not the dry, single food group Spanish variety-less variety). A random list of some of my other “favorite things” can be found here.
  23. I have always had the great fortune of meeting interesting and kind people. As a result, I have never worried about making new friends; somehow I always do.
  24. On the other hand, it never ceases to amaze me how we can spend so much time with a person and then sever those ties almost completely (the sole exception being family). Reminds me of the song, “I got along without you before I met you, gonna get along without you now.” No one is essential; we move on.
  25. And then I met you . . .
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2 Comments

Filed under Digressions, Friends / Family

2 responses to “25 Things About Me

  1. #1 is… kind of… hilarious 🙂

  2. eric

    Yep, the hair changed but the name stuck.

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