While brainstorming about what to write blogs about, I wanted to find a way for my readers to get to know some of the awesome people who I know. The best way I could come up with was an interview series.
Location: Capital Region of NY
Relationship Status: In a state of flux
Blog Link: http://www.twitter.com/derryX
Occupation: Research Scientist at a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company
What is the most challenging part of your job? Being overqualified. I took my current job with little negotiation due to economic hardship at the time of the offer. Having the education and background that I have, my learning curve was relatively short compared to my peers and also superiors who started after me. Finding the right balance of initiative to improve my position and working at my level is difficult at times because I feel that I am capable of so much more than what is expected of me.
What talent do you wish you were born with? I really have no issues not having talents that others have. I wish I could fly, but having that ability probably means I’d have to save people, so no thanks.
I know you’re a gamer. What is your favorite video game? This is kind of a difficult question, as I’ve been gaming since I was very young. Moving through the generations of gaming, I’ll list some key games so you can get a flavor. Galaga, Mike Tyson’s Punchout!, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Ducktales, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Mortal Kombat II (arcade), Sonic 3 (and Knuckles), Marvel vs Capcom (arcade), Doom, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Suikoden, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 and 4, anything with Katamari in the title, Bioshock, Guitar Hero/Rockband. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of my favorites, but if you sat me down with any of those and told me I had to play for 10 hours straight or you’d shoot me in the face, I wouldn’t argue with you.
What are your favorite songs to sing at karaoke? Another difficult question! I very much have the desire to entertain in my personality, so when I pick songs that I want to karaoke, the entertainment factor goes into that. My absolute favorite song to sing is “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and that is because I put a lot of time into listening to her song to learn the nuances and turn it into something enjoyable for all. I also like doing “Tribute” by Tenacious D with my brother @dompap. Other than these staples, I don’t have too many others that I feel confident with. I’m trying to change that, but I get picky when I flip through those books.
What is your drink of choice? I really don’t have any standard thing that I get all the time. I love scotch, but seldom order it when I am out. Lately, if I order beer, it is usually one of the delicious micro brews by Dogfish Head. Coffee-wise, IT’S ESPRESSO! But I order lattes and regular coffee many times too. Flavour Café’s Almond Joy latte is awesome (make sure you order it “with extra joy” to be cool like me). Otherwise, I’ll either drink water or Diet Coke.
Where is your favorite place to eat out? Living in the capital region, I don’t think it’s possible to have one place. We have a very diverse selection of different cuisines that makes the Capital Region a great place to live. I guess what I’ll do is go through my favorite types of food and list my favorite establishment and if there’s anything in particular I always order.
Pizza – Red Front [COB (Cheese on bottom)]
Sushi – Sushi Tei
Indian – Karavalli
Chain – Friendly’s
Hot Wings – Buffalo Wings and Rings fulfills that urge sometimes (it used to be Scubbers, hands down, but they closed)
Your parents own an Italian Specialty Food Store. Did this make you a good cook? What are some of your favorite Italian Meals? I definitely learned a lot of cooking skills by working in the store for years. The problem is that since the cooking done there is on a larger scale, that’s all I really know how to do. So to me, cooking for 2 is the same thing as cooking for 20, so I always have tons of leftovers.
Believe it or not, I actually don’t like pasta with red sauce! I’m probably the only “Italian” this way, but I don’t see that as a problem; it gets me to order more diverse dishes. Chicken parmigianna is my favorite dish when prepared right. I tend to stay away from the dishes that have lemon in the sauce (i.e. francaise or picatta). In fact, I tend to like things with as little sauce as possible. My favorite meal ever is my mom’s chicken cutlets with her saffron risotto.
You and your brother seem to be pretty close. How different do you think your life would be if you were an only child? It’s really hard to say. Mainly I think my sense of humor wouldn’t be as developed as it is. A big part of our interactions with each other is trying to make jokes about things, and we kind of riff off each other, molding the joke into something amazing. This would have a huge Butterfly Effect on me in that I probably wouldn’t be as sarcastic as I am. I think I’ll get to this in a later question…
When you’re not online or gaming, what other hobbies do you have? I like reading a lot, either comic books or literature. I haven’t done much of it in the last 5 years, but I am turning over a new leaf and trying to read more. I also like designing recipes for home brewing beer. This is a really fun hobby because you get to drink what you make. I’m gonna take a break from this hobby because Dogfish Head beers are too good right now. I collect movies and shows on DVD. I am particularly obsessed with LOST and can watch that no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I also play guitar. There was a time where I was good enough (maybe in my own mind) that I could fill in for James Hetfield of Metallica, that’s how well I knew to play those songs. I don’t pick it up as much as I used to, but it’s fun to play around from time to time.
What is the biggest misconception about you? I have a very strong opinion about what I think is funny which manifests itself as sarcasm, and, many times, people perceive this as me being serious. I always tell new people I meet, rule # 1 is to never take me seriously. Of course, this poses issues when I am actually being serious. For the sake of comedy, however, I’m willing to take this risk for that 1% of the time that I am serious.
How do you see your life a year from now? I definitely see myself in a better place mentally. I will most likely also be working hard at my career, trying to synchronize my job title to my level of ability. I anticipate being able to get to 1000 followers on twitter, I just have to figure out how. I probably will have watched the entire series of LOST three to four more times. Other than that, the year ahead has some major changes lined up, and I’m really looking forward to it!
How about 5 years from now? I never was one to plan this far ahead, but, for the sake of this questionnaire, in 5 years, I’d like to own a house and start getting settled into my career without feeling pressured for continuous advancement. By then, I think I will have worked hard enough for me to achieve a level of stress with work that is not as erratic as now. Other than that, it’s really hard to say. What the last several weeks have taught me is that the direction of the current can change at any moment, and that re-evaluation of priorities should be an ongoing process.