Mr Exciting

I've never been drunk.

Never smoked. Never even held a cigarette longer than it took to throw it away.

Never tried drugs.

Never even exceeded recommended dosages. ...I was hooked on Afrin for a few months before someone pointed out it was addictive (at which point I stopped), and I was fully addicted to Carmex lip-balm in college, but kicked it as soon as I realized as much.

Never watched porn (well, I caught a few snippets here and there due to cable errors, but never more than a minute).

Never purchased a porn magazine, even. (In fact, I've not even flipped through someone else's since high school, when I happened across a stack of them, once.)

Never stayed out later than promised. Always called home when I changed where I was.

I've had sex with exactly two women, one of them only three times (and those three were decidedly bad experiences, I might add).

I've *kissed* three women.

Never had sex with (or kissed) a man.

Heck, I've only seen three women topless in my life; two naked. (Pre-pubescent experimentation and/or oopses doesn't count.) ...Oh, no, wait, I did see one woman sunbathing topless on a beach in Maine, once. Never been to a nudie bar. Heck, never been to Hooters! Hell, I rarely even go to the damn beach.

The last time I stole something (that wasn't digital, heh) was when I was about ten years old: I snuck out of an art store with a $0.10 paper-binding clippy thing (hard to explain) inside of a $0.50 folder that I had purchased legitimately. I was caught. My parents made me take it back. I was emotionally destroyed.

I don't like rollercoasters. I generally refuse to go on them (though I don't completely chicken out, if pressed)... I just don't find them fun at all.

I've never done downhill skiing.

I don't speed... much. I mean, I'm one of the slowest people on the road. Speed limits are generally ridiculous, and I feel like I have to go 5 over the limit in some cases, or I'm actually being more dangerous because everyone else is going 15 over the limit... and, sure, I'll occasionally drift up to 10 over the limit because I'm not paying attention. ...But then I slow down when I notice it. (And, dammit, I got a bloody speeding ticket once because of it; really pissed me off: huge radar-trap with one cop, laser-gun in hand, flagging damn near everyone on the highway over, while a second cop handed out the tickets as quickly as he could write them.)

Never cheated on a test. (Though I've let others get away with it.)

I've certainly never bungie-jumped, parachuted, flown a plane (as oppposed to in a plane, duh), or anything else that could be called adventurous. I did go climbing a couple of times, well-belayed... I even did the zipwire: shooting along a wire at some small angle from a height down to the ground...

I'm pretty risk-averse.

Lately I've been worrying that this equates to being boring. ...Not
that I would change any of this, even if I decided that were the case. I do feel a little embarrassed that I've not done many of these. Most of these are considered normal, if amoral, behaviours. The general rule seems to be: yeah, do these things, just don't get caught.

I don't regret not-doing any of these things.

...Well, okay, I suppose I would have enjoyed seeing a few more naked women. [laugh now]

But what's more significant (IMO) is that I don't actually feel any of these things are wrong, in any sense of the word. Sure, I think most of them are silly. (Which is why I don't do them.) But I generally don't think ill of a person for partaking in any of these things. In fact, I'm far more apt to dislike a person for speaking in a southern accent than I am for knowing they're a regular drug-user.

I can't say I've examined my rules for judging character very closely. ...I trust it explicitly, though! And I daresay my judge of character has generally done me well.

Food for thought. I'll have to keep this in mind and comment later.


While I've been guided by the premise of "humans are animals" for a long time, it's only within the last couple of years that I've come to hold this next tenet dear: people have different value structures.

Well, I take that back. I suppose I've believed in that in some incarnation or another since the idea of "personality types" came into fashion. But only recently did that concept get refined enough for me to find it truly useful—even central—to my beliefs.

Martin Seligman. He's a little crazy, and to be honest, I'm not fond of him, personally. He wrote a book exposing some ideas that resonated with me, however. Namely, that there's a set of "virtues" that human beings tend to agree on, cross-culturally. Of course, any given culture will value some over others... blah blah, I don't want to go into the full theory. Like I said, he's a little crazy. See for yourself.

What it boils down to—at least, what I took away from it—is that each individual has a set of virutes that are what he calls "signature strengths". Defining qualities. The traits that guide us. The name is hokey, and his exposition of the idea is perhaps poor. But the idea is a good one. The things I like about it are:

  • It shows that there are "opposing" virtues. Caution and adventure, for example

  • It suggests (to me) that people, as a society, are "made" to be different, to bring different strengths to the table.

  • It helps explain why trying to be "everything" is impossible... but desirable, since all the virtues are clearly good things—it's just that you can't be all this one and all that one.

  • It helps one focus on what brings a person the most personal satisfaction.

My main strengths, by the way, (since this is a site about myself, heh) are:

  • Appreciation (first and foremost... according to the site, I'm in the top 96%)

  • Love of Learning (geek, duh.)

  • Curiosity

  • Open-mindedness

  • Caution (which is why I'm such a boring person "in real life", heh.)

  • Fairness

My weaknesses are many... that particular set of strengths incurs a lot of costs. Intamacy springs to mind. Adventure. Courage and Preserverence are also weak points for me.

I've completely re-framed my view of life from the perspective of virtues and the interplay between them. Humans are animals, and we're social animals. Virtues are at the seat of how we interface with one another.