Sunday, March 01, 2009

My 25 Cents

Although most (if not all)of my blog posts are inspired by random occurrences in my daily routine, I rarely delve into the details of my personal life. I never intended this site to be an online diary, and I don't think it would be very interesting to read about anyway. It's important to be careful of the information and especially the images you disclose on the internet. I learned the hard way (Google Image Search "Byron Tuyay")

But recently the latest craze on Facebook has been to compose a "note" listing 25 things about yourself. Initially I shrugged this off as sad way for people to achieve a false sense of originality and reaffirm their wit. But I've come around to realize that it often times achieves its goal. Some times the facts posted really say something about what a person finds worthy of sharing about themselves-- no matter how trivial or silly. I've found this to be a great way to see sides of someone you are unable to discern from the 50 photos they tagged from their best friends 21st birthday. Though many use it to be cheesy and share sentimental overly personal information about themselves or their boy/girlfriends, at least its an honest attempt at saying something meaningful about yourself.

If you've been reading carefully in the past 3 years you probably know the basics about me-- I love bacon. I live in NYC. I am 22 years old and in college. But I've decided to tell you all things that you would never know about me and make a list of my own. For the sake of getting to know me better and because the introspective process of thinking of what to write about yourself is amusing. Try it.

I submit...:

1. I've never liked frosting. It especially bothers me when cupcakes have too much frosting on top. I'm not much of a dessert person in general.

2. Listening to my iPod when I walk places or use public transportation has convinced me that life without having to drive is so much easier. I rarely go a day without listening to my iPod. I often prefer to walk alone for this reason.

3. As much as I enjoy eating out and trying new places. No dish from any restaurant can beat the perfect dinner company. I don't mind eating alone (I often do), but it's nice to have a good friend or two around.

4. I celebrated two "first communions" as a kid. I didn't believe that you needed to finish two years of Sunday school so I begged my parents to let me participate when my brother got his first communion. I was also the only kid in a brown suit and a red Sonic the Hedgehog clip-on tie. I remember being so torn waiting in line for communion that day. I was convinced that I was eligible to take the Eucharist but I knew my parents said I couldn't... I ended up folding my arms and not taking the wafer at the last second.

5. I'm a patient person when it comes to waiting for things that I can't help (i.e. the subway, summer etc.) but I can't stand waiting on people who are late. I am rarely late, and hate to be late except when I know the person waiting on me would make me wait or has made me wait in the past.

6. I'm bad at hiding when I'm mad, annoyed or bothered by someone.

7. I think my competitive nature can simultaneously be my greatest weakness and strength. I tend to oversimplify things into "Win/Lose" situations where there is clearly a middle ground or not applicable. Some times it backfires and comes off as immature. (e.g."My favorite burger is way better.", "Let me try that. I bet I can do it.")

8. I hate missing out on things or being left out. I like to think this stems from the feeling I used to get when I was young, being the last one to wake up in the house on weekends. It bothered me to wake up and see everyone was dressed and had started their day. I felt like I missed out on so much while I was asleep. I can't help but feel helpless or like I've lost (see #7), even if I'm in a different city or country or had other plans and could not have possibly been there.

9. There are 2 things that always make me tear up, no matter what: 1) The scene in "Rudy" when he finally gets into Notre Dame 2) and listening to "Life Goes On" by 2pac after two Miller Lites

10. I wish I could be a better public speaker. I get nervous addressing people even when I'm in front of a room full of people that I know well.

11. I truly value customer service. I refuse to go to an establishment, no matter how excellent their product, if they continually fail to serve customers or at least make an effort to serve them in a polite way. I'll never go back to Lucky Boy's in Pasadena for this reason. I stay faithful to establishments and companies that have excellent customer service (Bose, Hi-Life, Shake Shack). The key to excellent customer service isn't just "the customer is always right" but rather making the customer "feel right".

12. All of my best friends are not afraid of admitting they do embarrassingly nerdy things (religiously reading food blogs, freestyle on my voicemail, over-analyze social scenarios, etc.) I have trouble getting along with people who can't relax enough to make fun of themselves. People who have trouble being silly in front of friends are either not surrounded by friends or trying too hard (Rule 32) .

13. I have an extensive collection of 80s and 90s R&B in my iTunes library. Although I grew up listening mostly to Hip-Hop, my music preferences have been strongly influenced by a foundation of a specific type of R&B. (From Stevie Wonder, DeBarge and New Edition to Blackstreet, Jodeci, Babyface, Az Yet and Jon B.)

14. I don't stay upset at people I know for very long, no matter what they've done. I can be a pushover in this way. I've deliberately ignored people for extended periods of time for different reasons (embarrassed, uncomfortable, guilty) but never because I was mad.

15. I have problems mentally calculating simple mathematical equations. My skills as a mathematician peaked in 4th and 5th grade as a member of the Math Field Day team. Even then I was the "estimator".

16. I have a terrible singing voice. I always thought that I could have a decent voice if I tried, but this has proven to be untrue after several karaoke nights.

17. Although I have a genuine appreciation for performing arts, I often feel guilty for secretly despising "poetry slams" (see youtube). It's just not my thing.

18. I get very anxious watching old-people run or move fast. I hate to think of old people, or people who lack athleticism falling down. I had to change the channel when Tina Turner performed with Beyonce at the Grammy's a last year.

19. I carry a "Pocket Constitution". I've been told some nerdy guy on a popular show did too (I forget). The sad reality is I won it as a prize and have been carrying it ever since.

20. I've more or less looked exactly the same since 7th grade. I was just a little shorter and a little skinnier. I have a picture of two of my best friends and I on my desk. It was taken 9 years ago and whenever anyone see it they say I haven't changed at all.

21. I once ran into the mother of an old friend in a stationary store. We were the only two people in the small store but we didn't acknowledge each other. I had known this woman well and was certain she recognized me. It bothered me for days that I didn't say anything because I didn't know if she was ignoring me or if she didn't see me. She had no reason to be upset (I don't think) so I was really curious why she would snub me. Since then I've always made it a point to greet people that I recognize when I run into them in stores or on the street. I found that with practice and a good memory it becomes increasingly easier to get over the sense of embarrassment or awkwardness that stops you from saying anything in the first place.

22. When I get startled or frightened by things I quickly snap into a boxing stance. I've never been trained in boxing so it doesn't really make sense that I naturally do this. I've never had to actually throw a punch after being startled either so for the most part it serves as comic relief when I'm around friends. I remember being scared by a low-flying pigeon on the street and hearing a passing cyclist yell "What are you gonna do? Punch a bird?"

23. Fog never fails to mesmerize me. I get immediately happy when fog rolls in. It smells fresh and feels good to breath in.

24. I have two short-haired Daschunds. Tyson (brown) was named after the ear-biting, tatoo-faced, media spectacle. Bailey comes from "baila", Spanish for dance. My mom thought she looked like she was dancing when she hopped around.

25. In recent years by default I've become the person who my friends ask to give toasts before meals or at the beginning of a night out. These monologues have come to be known as my famous "emotional toasts". I always (to be gracious) pretend like I don't want to but they all know I do so I usually start by standing up and saying something cheesy like "You know (dramatic pause), I came here in 2006..." or "It wasn't long ago that (fill in the blank)"... They eat it up.

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