I noticed that I had a new incoming link (I don’t have many, usually), this time from Debbie Schinker. It is one of those rare “do this and pass it along” things that is actually quite productive and interesting. (secret admission: I like reading those items when I get them, but I don’t pass them along. I must be slowly destroying all of mankind’s karma…). It is a meme where I am supposed to list 7 things that the “royal you” probably don’t know about me. Sounds like fun. Fortunately, I don’t have to plead the fifth on any of these.
- my “internet name” – kaiyen – is the anglicization of my chinese name. Allan is my given name, but I also received a chinese name (as did my sister) out of respect to our grandparents and culture. When I went to college, I had the chance to pick any e-mail address I wanted (as compared to achen or allanc), so I picked “kaiyen.” I had never used the name before and never referred to myself by it up to that point. From then on, it became an alter ego for me. Online, I even signed e-mails and online forum postings with it (and even reached the point where I was signing “-k”).
- Starting around…1997 and going through 2002 or so, I attended and audio-taped concerts of various bands. Many bands – notably Phish and the Dave Matthews Band – allow concert-goers to tape their shows. I honestly don’t mean this to sound like I have an inflated ego (though I think it will), but I was among the first to push forward with all digital conversion of recordings to CD, editing on the computer, and eventually mass distribution via high speed college internet connections. My little server accounted for 20% of all residential traffic my senior year. Oh, and people would come up to me at concerts all over the country and ask if I was “kaiyen.” Kinda cool…
- I went to a pretty darn good university for undergraduate studies. I graduated with Honors. I was involved in several groups, in leadership roles. Yet the reason why I got my first job out of college was because, of all things, I had helped run a summer computer camp for kids after sophomore and junior years. I have since parlayed the foot I got in the door as an organizer of weekend activities for our younger attendees into three more jobs in academia, and I’m now in upper administration at a Law School. Very winding road.
- I have a metal bolt in my lower jaw from surgery I had back in 2001, where they cut out a part of my lower jaw and rotated it 90 degrees. You can feel it under my skin…and it hurts when it gets too cold out.
- I have a metal bolt because I have a sleeping disorder. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in ’97, when I was a freshman in college. Those first couple of years of school were hell, trying to come to terms with the fact that I was just too sleepy all the time to get my work done and to keep up with my classmates. I have now moved on from very mild apnea to the point where I have at least one instance each night where I stop breathing for more than 90 seconds, and my blood oxygen levels drops as low as 77% (anything below about 95% is bad). I have also had 4 surgeries for it over the years.
- I feel guilty that I was not back home in NJ when 9/11 happened. Obviously there was nothing I could do, but I have never felt so helpless as when I was trying to get a hold of my mother, sister and best friend to find out how things were going. We had three bomb scares at work that day and I barely remember them, but thinking about being way out here when everyone I knew was back in the NYC area still gives me chills to this day.
- I still can’t figure out why Scooby Doo and the Gang didn’t just beat up some of the lame monsters they faced.
That was a lot harder than I thought it would be…