Sunday, February 23, 2014

I Am Who I AM

I am a fifty-two year old single male.  I live in the town I was born in, Pasadena, California.  I am a native Californian, a rare breed.  
This may give me a bias, but I think California is the best state out of the fifty to live in.  It has the best wine and the best almonds in the world, and I buy and consume a lot of both.  
I think of myself as an “Angeleno,” though most of my life I’ve lived around Los Angeles and not in it.  I’ve worked IN Los Angeles for most of my adult life, so I’m thinking that counts.  
I am a Dodgers fan.  I am a (Los Angeles) Kings fan.  
I am an Anti-Giants fan.  Throughout the world, I oppose any team named the “Giants.”  I discovered this on August 28th, 2007, in Yokohama, Japan when I saw for myself that the Tokyo Giants baseball team had uniforms styled EXACTLY like those from a particular baseball time that plays in a California city north of where I live.  
I am politically independent.  I am not a member of an political party.  My voter registration card identifies me as “Non-Partizan.”  I have come to agree with George Washington that it is the “interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain” the spirit of political partisanship.  Too often, I believe, elected officials of ALL parties will act in accordance with party principles than what is best for the country.  
I am a fiscal conservative.  I think it is stupid that my country is the only one in the industrial world where one part of the legislation determines what money the government will take in while a completely separate part of the government decides what the government will spend money on.  The “debt limit” is a device created for our country alone because Congress can’t say to itself, “this is what we have coming in, let’s create a spending plan based on it.”  
I am a social progressive.  By this I mean that most of what people want to do and how they want to live should be left up to them, without interference by any other group or institution.  If someone wants to marry someone the same sex as they are, or if they want to smoke pot in the privacy of their home, or change their sex, then I saw let them do it as long as they grant me the same courtesy to live as I want to live.  
I also think being a social progressive means that we should support those things which benefit all of us.  Education.  Access to medical care.  Crime reduction.  Protection of the state.  These are areas where the entire country benefits if they are well-funded and run efficiently.  Take a lesson in how the state of Utah has been combating homelessness.  Instead of arresting these people as vagrants and putting them in jail, they are renting them apartments and giving them counseling to overcome the things that put them on the street.  Read It Here.  And I should note that this is not in conflict with my previously stated fiscal conservative stand.  If you read to the bottom of the article you’ll see that the state is saving about 5,000 per homeless person by helping them instead of arresting them.  
I didn’t think this was going to become a political rant.  Moving on...
I am a nerd.  This doesn’t just mean that enjoy geeky, fan-boy things like science fiction, space exploration, comic books and the like.  Being a nerd mean that I obsess over those things I like.  AND...  That I look for opportunities to provide the knowledge I have on these topics to the people that surround me.  
I have been waiting for years now for the question to come up as to who is the only pitcher in the history of major league baseball to hit two grand slam home runs in the same game.  I have the answer.  I’m waiting to give it out.  The conversation just never turns that way.  
It may come out of my nerdiness, but I’ve often thought that I might be an alien.  A being from another planet that was stranded here.  In order to allow myself to fit in amongst the local population better, my thought processes have been altered by an implant in my brain(s).  It suppresses my natural, alien thoughts and channels my neural pathways to those that most closely resemble the neuronic activity of humans.  The implant is not perfect, and is long in need of an upgrade.  This is why some truly strange things will pop out of my mouth from time to time, and why some scenes in my head, of planets harboring odd lifeforms or events from other timelines, seem more like remembered experiences than constructs of my imagination.  Since I do not have any evidence to support this supposition, I can not formally add it to the list of self-identifiers I offer today.  But I do provide it for any one that may wish to pursue this line of inquiry.  
In the past, I have been called “Spock” by those catching on to my nerdy nature.  More recently, there are some that have taken to call me “Sheldon,” after the character in the Big Bang Theory television show, for similar reasons.  Like Leonard Nimoy, I am Not Spock and I am Not Sheldon.  I am me.  
I am a production manager at a legal services company.  I am good at what I do.  I find this odd.  For a very long portion of my adult life I have regarded the activity performed to provide myself with sustenance, a residence and transportation to be “Just My Job.”  There were other things that I used to identify myself to the world.  It is strange to me that I have become noticed and praised for something I just did.  It feels like I’m being patted on my back for breathing well.  But it is what it is, so I note it here.  
I am a writer of speculative fiction.  I mostly use the term “science fiction writer,” but I do write in other odd genres, such as fantasy, comic book and animation scripts, so I’ll broaden the term.  This is born by my obsessive nerdiness.  Or from my “true identity” as a stranded alien.  It is not enough for me to read or what the experiences I crave.  I have to create them myself.  And just like the information I’m dying to share in my head, I want to share these creations with as many others as I can.  It pains me that I have not been able to reshape the universe enough that this item of self-identification is not more widely known and recognized.  Maybe my implant is working subversively against me, keeping me from creating work with too great a fidelity with my “true experiences” in order to protect me from discovery.  
Who knows.  All I know is that it is part of who I am.  This is me.
Now then, who are you?
PS: It’s Tony Cloninger, while playing for the Atlanta Braves in 1966.  I just couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.  


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