hello yes im still here

This is like a Five Things post but I may do more or less than five so let’s see how it goes.

Social GD media

I disabled my main Twitter account again because honestly it’s just becoming the crutch that Facebook was. I’ve set a reminder to reactivate shortly before the 30-day expiration, but we’ll see.

Piano lessons

I have been taking piano lessons since September of last year. I’m still no good at the thing, but I’ve recently taken to transcribing music for our choir, in order to get used to reading music. As for playing, I can play the first 18 notes of Scott Joplin’s Entertainer, and some dubious sounding renditions of beginner Bach and Bartok. Schumann and looks easy but isn’t. I’m not taking over as an accompanist for a good few years yet.

I started piano lessons in 1990, and stopped after around 18 months when I changed schools. While I have some regrets that I never followed through, I equate this new discovery of music with getting adult braces: I don’t think I would have appreciated this thing as much as a moody teenager.

SQL Server Inside Out

There is Another Book Looming On The Horizon. This after I swore never to write another book, and after telling people vehemently how terrible an idea it is to write a technical book. The money is bad, the font and style guidelines are maddening (and in Word 97 file formats), plus it means actually composing cogent thoughts. Twitter has destroyed that whole notion, so that’s also partially why I am off there for a while.

Never write a book. Stick to blog posts!

Wolf From The Door

My many and varied business interests and hobbies are continuing apace. I just felt like writing the word “apace” and it looks good in that sentence. Well done, me. I may share some information here, but for most technical posts I’d recommend reading my SQL blog at bornsql.ca/blog.

Gender identity

Some more observant folks have noticed I’m rejecting gender binary labels lately, with one or two asking if I’m feeling alright and whether they should be worried (and honestly, thank you for asking). Aside from the fact that I’ve tried painting my nails over the years more than a few times, the best way to explain this is that people are people, and it’s nobody’s business who they are attracted to and how they dress or present themselves. With all the privilege I’ve had being white and male growing up, I never quite felt “male” enough. $deity knows how much I was teased at school, bullied even, for being too “girly”, and later when I realized I am mostly attracted to men, being “gay” just didn’t cover all the bases adequately. In 1996 when I came out to my mother, I described myself as “not straight”, because that felt right. Did it ever!

I contributed a chapter in a book recently about just being Randolph, and how my gender is nobody’s business but mine. That means necessarily rejecting the gender binary. So if it makes you feel better, and don’t understand singular “them” and “they”, just call me Randolph. As long as you spell it right, I’m ok with that. It means that I’m being lumped in with transgender folks and honestly I couldn’t be happier. It gives this militant old queer something to fight for once again.

Climate change

Ok, seriously, the planet is burning up and my province of Alberta elected a party last week that wants to do away with carbon credits? What is wrong with you? The only way the economy is going to bounce back quickly is by raising the oil price, and that’s not happening any time soon. In the meantime let’s focus on developing a new economic sector that isn’t based on black gold. But what do I know?

That’s all. I’m depressed. And I haven’t even spoken about Sri Lanka or Notre Dame.