Seven things you may or may not have known about me

I was tagged by Rosie and Vinnie in this seven-things meme. (That doesn’t count as one of the things.) Here’s the deal:

  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged

So, here are my things:

  1. My last named used to be Brubaker. My mom was single when she had me. (Call me bastard if you want. I prefer lovechild.) She married the guy I call Dad when I was one. We took his last name and he adopted me.
  2. I’ve been working as a graphic designer long enough to have done “paste up” with a hot waxer. (But it was at a newspaper, so you really never know how recent that could have been… for the record, I think it was 1997)
  3. While in college, I worked as a bicycle courier in Washington, DC. On a BMX bike at first, until I saved up for a mountain bike. Saw the insides of a lot of cool buildings. Best job ever (except when it rained).
  4. I was a graffiti artist during the college years as well. The courier gig was very handy for scoping routes and finding new spots (spots for legal painting, of course…). Being a courier really made you want to be a graff writer, as evidenced by all the pen & marker tags you’d find on the walls in the freight elevators…
  5. My best friend in college died sophomore year. We dropped him off at the fraternity house early one morning after being out all night. We got a call later that day, and learned that he’d died after apparently falling from the roof. We never learned exactly what happened, but there was no shortage of speculation, or feelings (and accusations) of responsibility. I remember him fondly, and am reminded of him almost every day by something I see or hear that I know he would’ve enjoyed.
  6. I raced in the 1997 BMX world championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CN. I had no hopes for a top finish, but a top 10 national rank qualified me to go, so I did. (Bonus observation: Saskatoon is hella boring.)
  7. I was a casualty of the dotcom bust, when my company let go about 75% of its employees, and all but one of its lines of business in December 2000 (happy holidays!). I think they spent way too much dough on marketing, and too little on, uh, actual work-ish stuff. I still have the mugs to prove it. And the mousepad, and the t-shirt, and the personalized jellybeans that look like pills… okay, now that’s kinda strange. Anyway, I quickly got a new job at a software company, but come December 2001, once again I was laid off. Flash forward to December 2009. Bank of America, my current employer, announced yesterday that it will lay off about 35,000 employees over the next 3 years, as a result of the Merrill Lynch merger and the general in-the-toiletness condition of the economy. I’m hoping I’m one of the keepers this time around…

And, I’ll pass this on to:

2 thoughts on “Seven things you may or may not have known about me”

  1. Cool stuff, Ben. Thanks for the awesome info.

    The courier job sounds really cool. That is wild about the lay-offs. I remember by brother got cut by the dotcom bust. That was a bummer. Best of luck with BOA!!

  2. Hey Leo. Thanks for the comment. Yea, I have many great memories of DC, even during the dotcom lows (but especially before that). :-)

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