Wednesday, October 15, 2008

13 Degrees of Dorkness - or – Triskaidorkaphilia

My 13 Degrees of Dorkness
- or –
A Multidimensional Proof of Personal Dork Behavior
A dork resume, if you will

Dimension 1: This description, byitsownself.
Including use of the phrase "If you will".

Dimension 2: Dorkness in the Workplace

The technical people in my department consider me not technical enough. Too managerial. There are 500 of these people.
Everyone else in my company consider me a techie. There are 49,
500 of these people.

Dimension 3: Community Dorkness

I oversee the largest summer youth swim team in Houston. How did I get this volunteer job? I started by running the computer systems. Now I’m in charge. Bummer.

Dimension 4: More Community Dorkness

I’m on the board of a terrific charity started at my golf club, Golfers Against Cancer. We’ve raised $16 million dollars that has been donated directly to innovative cancer research. All volunteer. Virtually no expenses. It’s awesome. All the high rollers in my town and many across Houston and beyond participate. What is my role? Website, audio visual (at the
1000 person gala dinner), documentation, PowerPoint. Oh, a few insightful ideas that have been beneficial. Half my strategic plan has been implemented. Plenty of hard partying, networking, brainstorming, and arm-twisting for big donations. But deep down, I’m the computer guy.

Dimension 5: CrossDork
I live for the NYT crossword puzzle, shirking significant daily responsibilities in order to do the puzzle. Fortunately this takes well less then 10 minutes Monday to Thursday.
Yet I only complete about 1 in 5 Saturday’s. Actually, closer to 1 in 10. I consider Rex Parker my personal savior and lord.

Dimension 5: Let your Dork Flag Fly

Finalist in the M5K Oregon flag redesign contest.

I mentioned my entry to the Oregon flag contest to a golf buddy, who spends a few weeks in Oregon every summer because his wife is from there. He asks how it went.

“Well, I think I won. Kind of. Anyway, my flag was submitted to the governor. I don’t think anything’s going to happen with it though”.

Months later, golf buddy asks “Whatever happened to that Oregon flag thing?”

Me: “Well, I don’t think the governor took it seriously. He might not even really have known
about it”.

Golf Buddy: “What do you mean? Wasn’t it an official contest?”.

Me: “Well, it was more an internet blog thing. This guy who has a blog ran it.”

GB: “Oh, an internet thing.”

Nonetheless, now that the contest has gone mainstream, I expect to win Oregon and begin my career as the worlds foremost flag designer, splitting my time each year between summers in the villa in Tuscany and wintering in Palm Beach. Yes, I think it’s still the 1950’s.

Oh yeah. Consider that I mentioned the flag contest to a golf buddy. Serious dorkness. Don’t do this. Possibly a dimension of its own.

Dimension 6: The Heart of Dorkness

I have purposely withheld reading other blog entries for Dorkfest 2008 in order to ensure that my entry is unadulterated and uninfluenced by any other entry. No derivatives. No embellishments. No one-upmanship.
My sense of sportsmanship is unrivalled and unrealistic, as demonstrated by the following diatribe. Due to this naiveté, I will be taken advantage of repeatedly in my lifetime.

Dimension 7: Perfect Preparation Makes for Perfect Dorkness

Morgan? Ha!. Let’s roll back the clock to May. The M5K Decathlon Afterparty.

Phineas’ comment on May 17, 2008: “Initial entry for Dorkfest 2008: I actually studied for the M5K Decathlon.”

Reply from M5K: @Phineas: “Second entry for Dorkfest 2008: You are already planning for Dorkfest 2008.”

I continue to study. For the M5K Decathlon 2009.

Dimension 8: Published Dorkness
I write articles for an adoption magazine that no one reads. I’m hoping they still publish it, though I’m not sure. And I’m a subscriber.

Dimension 9: Dork Reading Material – My Current or Recently Completed Reading List
A combination of topics so diverse as to be schizophrenic. Where are those pills, anyway? I frequently ask myself – why would I want to read THAT? And the answer is always the same. THAT is so cool.

I used to read a lot related to my profession, whatever that is. I recently learned that when I transferred to Houston a number of years ago, my new boss and a coworker entered my office while I was out of town and asked each other, “Do you think he really read all those books?”. The coworker (my boss last year), now admits, “Yes, he certainly did.”

  • Pnin, Nabokov
  • Lolita, Nabokov. Actually, The Annotated Lolita. I read all the annotations. Twice.
  • God Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everytihng, Hitchens. Not original (see Betrand Russell), but interesting. Especially if you personally know (knew) more than 10 Catholic priests who are currently serving time.
  • Silk Road Journeys, Colin Thubron. Highbrow travel writing. Serious. Grab-your- dictionary level highbrow writing. Poetic too. I wouldn’t believe me if I were reading this description. You really ought to check him out.
  • Beyond the Great Wall, Colin Thubron
  • Chances Are: Adventures in Probability. Kaplan and Kaplan. ‘Adventures’ was not the best word choice for the subtitle.
  • The Match, The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever, Frost. An entire book about a single golf match that took place in 1956. Got it in July. I’m reading it for a second time now.
  • 5 books on poker. OK. I didn’t read them this year, but they’re still there next to the others on this list.
  • Ulysses. Yes that one. Read it for the 11th time since 1983. How do I know this? Because I keep a log inside the front cover.
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell. Solid. Enjoyable. Cleverish.
  • Rightful Resistance In Rural China (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics), O’Brien and Li. A sociology /political science textbook. Bought for my birthday off my amazon wishlist. This is not my field of study.
  • Never Let me Go, Ishiguro
  • Clasics of Western Thought: The Twentieth Century, Gochberg. Textbook from college. Twentieth century only 4/5’s over at the time. Cool to know now what happened next.
  • The Mysterious Montague, A True Tale of Hollywood, Golf, and Armed Robbery, Montville. It is a true story.
  • A Free Life, Ha Jin. Notice the China theme. Notice that once you make a name for yourself you can make a living writing most anything. Publishers. A mildly loyal following. Tenure. Got it made for life. Maybe not free, but made.
  • The Return of the Player, Tolkin. OK – only read it because I kind of liked the movie The Player. OK. I liked Greta Scaachi a lot (who was in the NYT puzzle recently). REALLY liked the gag in the movie where Tim Robbins’ character ordered a different brand of bottled water by name, complex, long winded name, in every restaurant he entered. Never repeated a name. No waiter ever questioned his order. Classic.
  • Bradbury Stories: 100 of his most Celebrated Tales.
  • National Gallery of Art. With 315 Illustrations. It doesn’t help as much on the TMQ as you would think.
  • The Alaska Reader: Voices from the North, Kremers and Hanley, eds.
  • The Collected Stories, Amy Hempel
  • Extreme Weather, A Guide and Record Book, Burt
  • Pale Fire, Nabokov. Need Nabokov bookends on this list, seeing as how he’s the greatest writer of the latter 20th century and all.
All these books reside in, and have been read nearly in their entirety, in the water closet in my master bathroom.

Dimension 10: Dork Testimonials.

I have requested that several people write testimonials to my dorkness. None of them even remotely questioned the mission and purpose. They’ll be posted shortly. My wife and daughter squealed with glee upon being asked.

Dimension 11: Dork in the Kitchen

Despite the senseless diversity of the items described above, all I really care about is food and cooking. I write a blog that has received 2 comments lifetime. I obsess over the blog and it’s potential entries, dream of it’s popularity, envision it’s utility and purpose serving home cooks of all ilks, despite the dearth of posts and the neglect I s
hower upon it.

But really you ought to try the Fennel and Coriander crusted grilled tuna. And these cucumbers. And Albuquerque butter. And………….

Dimension 12: I Lied.
All I really care about is alcohol. I’m going to fix myself another Vodka Tonic. That would be an Absolut Kurrant and diet tonic, no lime.

Dimension 13: That’s Not All, Dorks
The essence of my dorkness is diversity. I’ve specialized in diversity to the extant that I’m not a specialist in anything but. Pretty darn good in a few things. Maybe.

But shouldn’t one direct their talents in a manner that provides contributions to the chosen field? Shouldn’t one advance the cause? Isn’t it madness (dorkness) to obsessively commit oneself to so many disparate endeavors as to wreak identify confusion? Not among others, among me. All of the me’s.

But the dimensions described above are not all. Other things I do, with a modicum of proficiency, include the following. And in some cases, these are the things I’m spending time the majority of my time on.
  • Classical Guitar playing
  • Cabinet Making
  • Children (making them and caring for them).
  • Friendships.
  • Exercise
  • Music (thankfully you’ve been spared the musical diversity list).
  • The Arts (outside the home).
  • The anti-Arts – as in, watching crap TV. Though Iron Chef America is awesome.
  • Sports – especially college football (go Hawkeyes), the Cubs, Bears, Olympics, Tour de France, and on and on.
  • Golf. Oh yeah, I got this far without discussing THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY IN MY LIFE.
Enough is enough. As one twisted individual, I submit my dorkness to you.