Tuesday, February 17, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Over on Facebook, there's a meme going around about posting "25 Random Things" about yourself, and tagging 25 other people to do the same. I didn't tag anyone else, but here's the list I posted today:

1. I am, by birth, a dual US-Canadian citizen.

2. My childhood imaginary friend wasn't a person or an animal. It was a magic hook that descended down from the sky on an infinitely long string.

3. I was in a car accident when I was 10. I don't drive. The two facts are connected.

4. My nickname, until I was 10, was Robin. I kind of regret that I rebelled against it; I think Robin Sawyer is a cool name for a writer. No one calls me Bob, but a few close friends call me either RJ, Robbie, or The Robman.

5. When I was a kid I couldn't stand pizza. Now it's my favourite food.

6. My parents wouldn't let me play with toy guns or watch violent TV shows. The Man from UNCLE was banned in our house.

7. I was blind for six days when I was 12.

8. I was raised a Unitarian, and if I'm in one of those situations where you have to name a religious affiliation, and can't say "none," that's the one I specify.

9. When I was in my early teens, I thought Barbi Benton was the most beautiful woman in the world. [That's Barbi above.]

10. My very first publication was a letter to the editor in The Toronto Star in praise of Canada's switch to the metric system. I think I was 14.

11. Until I was 15 or so, I flat-out refused to wear blue jeans, and when bell-bottoms were in fashion, I wouldn't wear them, either; I was adamant about not conforming.

12. My first girlfriend (whom I started dating when I was 15) is now my sister-in-law. (I married her sister.)

13. Up until my last year of high school, I thought I was going to be a paleontologist; I still love dinosaurs.

14. I was my high-school valedictorian, editor of the high-school newspaper, and was the voice (alternating with a female student) that read the school's morning announcements in my last year of high school; I loved high school. :)

15. I don't have my wisdom teeth, but I do have my tonsils.

16. In Grade 11, I wrote an essay for school on "Dramatic Irony in Oedipus Rex," and got an A+. In second-year university, pressed for time, and studying the same play in English class, I handed in the same essay again, and got a B.

17. I have flat feet.

18. These days, I host the TV series Supernatural Investigator on Vision TV -- but even the people at Vision don't know that in 1983-84, I was one of the six people who were part of The Rosewell Group, the consulting team that spearheaded the creation of Vision TV; it was my first big writing contract, and I spent nine months on it. The leader of the group was the Hon. David MacDonald, who had been Secretary of State under Joe Clark.

19. In the 1980s, I was a team captain in The Canadian Inquisition pub trivia league; recently, the league had a round of questions about me -- how cool is that!

20. I had a vasectomy when I turned 40. It was easy and relatively painless.

21. I've never really been a fan of major TV or film stars, but I love character actors, especially from the 1970s. My favourites are Darren McGavin and Alan Oppenheimer -- I'll watch them in anything. And I've always thought William Shatner is a terrific actor -- so there.

22. I am a huge fan of folk singer Pete Seeger (a taste I inherited from my parents); this will become apparent to those who read my next novel, Watch. [That's Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits below.]

23. I sponsor a boy in Guatemala through Foster Parents Plan; his name is Victor Hugo (really!), and I have a picture of him on my refrigerator door.

24. Although I love science fiction, many of my favourite movies aren't SF at all: Casablanca, Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill a Mockingbird, Born Free, The Candidate, The Paper Chase, and Witness, for instance.

25. I own six Scrabble sets, all different: deluxe rotating, various portable ones, and so on -- and yet I'm lucky if I get to play two games a year. Just no time -- which is the story of my life!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At February 17, 2009 2:07 PM , Blogger Melody said...

An interesting list, Rob.

When I was a young teenager I talked my parents into sponsoring a girl from Peru via Foster Parents Plan; her name was Emerita Francisco Carretera. We helped her and her family out financially and she and I exchanged letters for awhile. When she became pregnant she was kicked out of the program, or so I was told. That would have been more than 35 years ago. I've often wondered what happened to her.

At February 17, 2009 5:56 PM , OpenID rvitelli said...

"16. In Grade 11, I wrote an essay for school on "Dramatic Irony in Oedipus Rex," and got an A+. In second-year university, pressed for time, and studying the same play in English class, I handed in the same essay again, and got a B."

I forget. Is it still plagiarism when you steal from yourself?

At February 17, 2009 6:04 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hee hee. Definitely not plagiarism! Every word was my own. ;)

At February 18, 2009 1:04 AM , Blogger George B. said...

My favorite Pete Seeger piece is "Chorale from Beethoven's Symphony" from his album "Darling Corey and Goofing-Off Suite" (abt 1950).

The "Ode to Joy" on a banjo.

At February 18, 2009 9:32 AM , Blogger michaelo said...

Entertaining stuff. Meanwhile, on an almost entirely unrelated topic, I discovered last night that re-reading Calculating God while listening to the first track on Nick Cave's "The Boatman's Call" seems remarkably fitting. A moment of serendipitous contextual overlap I would recommend to anyone.

At February 19, 2009 5:46 PM , Blogger wynken said...

Hi Rob!

Neat-O! Thanx for sharing! I got the same request from a couple of my friends and just never took the time to answer them. Now, I think I should. Thank you for those little morsels.

;-) Louis.


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