I work in IT and would like to dispel the misconception that all IT people are boring. There are indeed some boring IT types, just like there are some boring accountants, politicians, shopkeepers, dog walkers, TV presenters and so on. It's just a job. I will not talk about computers because you're not interested. I know you're not, because I can see your eyes glazing over even when I talk about not talking about computers. I work with computers. I am not a computer. You can ask me anything. I am not Google. I am pretty good at Monopoly, though.
And, oh yeah, my name is not Attila. Curse my hands for typing that obscure Monty Python reference. I wanted something Hungarian and something wacky. And now I've ruined it by over-explaining it all. It's Daniel. Dan, if can only pronounce words with one syllable.
I love books. I love to read and I love to have books. Whenever I move into a new place, I must have my books. I may not have anything to eat, but I've got to have my books.
I mainly read fiction. I used to joke that my favorite authors are Larry, Terry and Jerry. I love hard science fiction, which is where Larry and Jerry come in:
- Larry Niven: Ringworld, N-Space (short stories), pretty much everything he writes.
- Jerry Pournelle: usually in collaboration with Larry Niven, like for the Mote in God's Eye, Lucifer's Hammer, Oath of Fealty, the Janissaries
- Arthur C. Clarke: The Rama series, short stories, Childhood's End
- Military SF: Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the movie was awful), David Weber's Honor Harrington series, Eric Flint and David Drake
- Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, David Brin, Ray Bradbury
I love Terry Pratchett, I've read almost all of this Discworld novels and occasionally re-read them as well.
I'm also a great fan of John Grisham's legal fictions: The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Partner... I think I've read them all. I've never been to southern US states where most of his novels take place, but through his writing I feel that I know them all. In fact, my favorites from him are not legal fictions: A Painted House and the short stories of Ford County.
I like military fiction from Tom Clancy, though his latter novels seem to have lost their mojo. My favorite is Red Storm Rising, followed closely by The Hunt for the Red October and the rest of the Jack Ryan series, of which my favorite is Executive Decision.
Of the non-fiction books I prefer books on economy and post-WWII history. I love airplanes, have been fascinated by them since I was a kid, and tremendously enjoy air travel, even these days when security and airlines appear to do everything in their power to make people hate flying. I like books about Cold War history - Francis Gary Powers's biography, books about spy planes and satellites and things that were secret then but are on Wikipedia now. Things like the Mitrokhin archives about the KGB, or books about the scientific history behind the making of the atom and hydrogen bombs.
I also love the out-of-the-box thinking of Freakonomics and Super Frekonomics. I like to read biographies: Richard Branson, Churchill, Madleine Albright.
Bill Bryson. His books had a place of honor in my toilet, an honor few authors share.
I mainly read in English. Most of my adult education was in English. I'm a certified English-Hungarian translator and interpreter, which is why I have a terrible time reading anything in Hungarian that's been translated from English. I can't help trying to guess what the original in English must have sounded like. It's a frustrating and tiresome exercise, but my brain automatically snaps to it. Anything translated from any other language is fine. I loved the Hungarian translations of Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and Perfume by Patrick Suskind. Also, everything written by Stainslaw Lem (should probably be up there in the sci-fi section, but hey, it's my party and I cry if I want to.)
Speaking of which,
Oh boy. I don't have a favorite band or type of music. I like jazz, I like classical, I like hard rock, I like pop... I'm not picky. There is good music in all of those. Here's a list of some that come to mind:
AC/DC; Aerosmith; Air (All I Need is one of my all-time favorites); Alanis Morrissette (Jagged Little Pill); Anastacia; Aretha Franklin; Beastie Boys; Björk; Blur; Bon Jovi; Chemical Brothers; Cranberries; Dead Can Dance; Deep Forest; Dire Straits; Enigma; Eric Clapton; Fat Boy Slim; George Michael; Green Day; Grid; Guns'N'Roses; Gwen Stefani / No Doubt; Jimi Hendrix; Les Négresses Vertes; Madonna; Massive Attack; Michael Jackson; Nirvana; Prodigy; Rage Against the Machine; Ray Charles; Sophie Ellis-Bextor; Tarkan; Ugly Kid Joe
I love to eat. I eat pretty much everything, even broccoli (hey, not even President George H. W. Bush liked broccoli). I used to hate Asian food, because when we moved to Paris, we lived on the 16th floot in a 32 story building. The ground floor had an Asian restaurant and by the time the fumes made it up to the 16th floor through the garbage chute in the kitchen, the smell was far from pleasant. My genuine hatred for Asian food went on until a friend of mine from Hong Kong invited me to his house for some real Cantonese food that his aunt made. It was only later that I found out that most Chinese have very big families, and the person he referred to as his aunt wouldn't even by considered as family in Hungary. Still, the food was excellent, and I have no reservations about ethnic food at all since then. In fact, even if it smells nasty, I'll try it. I have not problems with vegans, it's their choice. I do have some problems with barely cooked innards of beasts, so it's safe to say I'm not a huge fan of tripes / pacal. My dad loves it; I'd rather have chicken. Or frogs - yes, my years in France have had an effect. Crunchy frog legs, yummy. Oh, and snails, too, with garlic.
So, the list of things I don't like is quite short and inevitable Hungarian: pacal (tripes) and fõzelék (think about a vegetable stew that's been boiled to disintegration and beyond). Maybe sheep brains, though Indiana Jones had it, so it can't be all that bad. Eyeballs, perhaps, though eyeballs have bad PR. I feel for them.
I cook maybe twice a week. I can never seem to get the portions right, always make too much food, so I end up eating the same dish for half a week. My favorite spice is herbes de Provence. My favorite drink is Dr. Pepper (this week, subject to change and availability). I make a mean chili con carne. It's best when it smells like a Mexican's armpit, though I tend to add a dash of Heineken beer for that extra taste.
I love pizzas, I love sushi, I love a good steak, I love a good salad, I love a good soup. I have a weakness for Thai food - my favourite dish is tom yum kung. It took me a while to figure out that lemon grass and coriander are not the same, but both are indispensable for a good tom yum. My mother used to make excellent moules frites when I lived in France, miss that stuff a lot.
- someplace to stay
- someone to love
- something to read
- something with buttons to press
- something to think about
Not having any money sucked. Not having any place to stay sucked. Not having someone to love sucked, big time, and sucks now, too. Not having something to read makes me bored. Not having something with buttons to press results in me not breaking things. Not having something to think about means the zombies had my brains for breakfast. Braaaaaains.
Also, I'm an awful dancer. You've been warned.
Magyarul, angolul, mindegy. Angolul viccesebb vagyok.