Inspired by Ran Prieur. Last update: Dec. 28th 2020

  1. I was born on Feb. 26th, 1989. I share my birthday with Johnny Cash and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  2. I’m a Scorpio ascendant. I don’t believe in astrology, but neither do I believe it is nothing but bullshit.
  3. My mother was born in Athens and my father in Sydney, Australia.
  4. I have my maternal grandfather’s name. Had I been a girl, I’d have been given my paternal grandmother’s sister’s name – Hilda.
  5. My earliest memory is of me biting my toe in the crib. Apparently, it’s virtually impossible to keep memories from that early in life, but this one stuck for some reason. Must have felt extra good.
  6. My parents split up when I was… not even sure, actually. I have close to zero recollection of them being together, save images that could very well be false memories.
  7. Both my parents remarried at least once, but neither had another child. Their partners were and are also childless. So I’m an only child with many “adopted” families.
  8. In fact, my only living Greek relatives are my mother and her uncle.
  9. I never met any of my grandfathers, not even those of my adopted families. They all died before I was born.
  10. The first time I went to Australia, I was 4 years old. The last time, 13.
  11. The first film I remember watching in the cinema is Aladdin. I watched it that very first time I was in Australia. The cave scene sure was scary.
  12. I’ve had the honor of getting peed on by a koala while I was hugging it in a petting zoo in Australia. I probably got what I deserved. Not to mention, getting peed on by animals (not people, I guess) apparently brings good luck.
  13. I’ve loved animals my whole life. As a kid I had a menagerie of plushies and I usually preferred playing with them over playing with action figures. The only animal in my life today is my dear Maalouf.
  14. If I had a daemon — i.e. the soul of each person that, in the His Dark Materials books, is embodied in the form of a talking animal that is invisibly tied to their literal soulmate and whose species can represent qualities of their personality and psyche — what would it be? I’m torn between an octopus, a swan, a swallow, a parrot, a gecko, a dolphin, an ant-eater and a giraffe. It would probably be a bird, though.
  15. Many years ago I used to have a pet white cat. Her name was Yuki. She died on the streets of Mytilini from eating poisoned food left out to exterminate the strays — the traditional way many Greeks choose to approach animal control.
  16. My mother used to have lots of budgerigars, and I would take care of them too. Olympos, with his yellow face and blue body, outlived all of his girlfriends and was the last to pass away at the good, ripe old age of 12. We named him thus because we got him from the pet store around the time of the Olympic Games in Athens.
  17. I love parrots. I can tell apart the cries of the (at least?) two species of feral parrots that call the trees of Athens their home — the monk parakeet and the ring-necked parakeet.
  18. Speaking of pets, I used to have a wormery — a compost bin where tiny wrigglers would feed on my organic waste and sweet-smelling fertilizer would come out their other end. I have accidentally killed them all twice: once by drowning them and another time by overdosing them, or maybe even drowning them again, in grubby white flour. PROOF: gluten is bad for you!
  19. I actually don’t know whether eating gluten is bad for you, or at least for me. So people say, but I still love my sourdough and rye bread and the amazing stuff they bake in Scandinavia for their open sandwiches — smørrebrød and the like. The blacker, the better.
  20. I grow kefir in my cupboard! My first grains were gifted to me by Spotter Julia from Cologne. I have already paid the gift of fermentation forward and I can’t wait to spread my pet SCOBY even farther.
  21. At around age 6, I wanted to become a doctor when I grew up (heavily inspired (by this show). Then, somewhere along the way, I found how much you actually need to study to become one, and that was the end of that.
  22. Part of wanting to become a doctor meant I was attracted to disease, in an encyclopedic sense. I remember often having hypochondriac anxieties and being afraid of getting appendicitis and losing sleep over simple belly aches.
  23. My father bought me my first video game console when I was 5 or so – something I’m sure he regrets to this day. It was an NES knockoff with knockoff cartridges of Bubble Bubble and an “82-in-1” game with many NES classics and weird ROM hacks, such as e.g. a “Fancy Mario” which was Super Mario Bros but with invisible platformers, enemies etc. I would play on a 14″ Telefunken (or was it Grundig?) TV in my room.
  24. I first used the internet when I was 8, in 1997. I was always visiting The Mushroom Kingdom (which I found by using AltaVista on Netscape Navigator), “the best Super Mario resource”. I’d look for cheats and download MIDIs that took a long time to download on my dad’s Windows 95 machine. He had a 14.4k modem and his ISP was GroovyNet.
  25. My favorite console overall was the Nintendo 64 but I find most of my favorite games on it have aged pretty badly today. The music though I still love!
  26. My favorite video games from childhood: everything Mario, Yoshi and Donkey Kong, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Sim City 2000, Civilization II, Age of Empires 2.
  27. Actually, the first game I ever played online was Age of Empires 2, on the MSN Gaming Zone. I loved the scenarios like Castle Siege and Soldier Store, a kind of precursor to DOTA. I would play on my first personal computer my mother got me in September 2001 over a 64k ISDN connection.
  28. The five games I have the most hours on Steam are: Civilization V & VI, Europa Universalis IV, Crusader Kings II & III, Dark Souls, Total War: Shogun II. At what point did I really get hooked on strategy games?
  29. The last game I played I really truly loved was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Simply stunning.
  30. I used to hate lentils with a passion. In fact, I used to have a kind of legume intolerance and whenever I’d eat beans or chickpeas I would get really bad stomach cramps that sometimes wouldn’t even go away the following day. Somehow, over time, I started really loving legumes and experimenting with eating despite the ensuing suffering. Painfully, my body must have realized that I had made up my mind, cause roughly by the time I turned 22 no legumes would ever give me pain anymore.
  31. I’ve been a vegetarian since 2010. Actually, I prefer calling myself flexitarian, because I don’t avoid meat entirely, I’m just very picky. I eat it when the alternatives are poor, at some special occasions and when it would otherwise be thrown away. I don’t believe eating meat is wrong per se – we people are omnivores, and part of me thinks vegetarians/vegans are often not comfortable with the unavoidable destiny of death that awaits everything that’s alive. I just think factory farming and the way we treat animals in most of the “civilized” world is downright criminal. Not to speak of the crucial environmental factors & the health benefits of severely restricting consumption of animal products. That said, I’m also fond of veganism, but I’m sad to say its time to shine as a mass movement has not yet come.
  32. For around 8 years of my life, I would go to Austria with my mother and her husband at least once per year and for at least a few weeks at a time. He had a nice little house in a village called Donnerskirchen (‘Thunderchurch’) close to Eisenstadt (‘Irontown’), in Burgenland (‘Castleland’).
  33. One time, I remember the big Neusiedler lake next to the village being completely frozen and the sky being a perfect overcast white. Standing on the frozen water and looking out, I could see nothing but almost blinding white (and the occasional ice skater). It was the sort you get when it’s snowing gently. It’s one of my most beautiful, treasured memories.
  34. In Austria, I learned to love sparkling water (which I often like mixing with apple juice) and always prefer it over boring, normal water. For a time, I’d also drink liters and liters of a local soft drink called Almdudler.
  35. My favorite wine variety is probably Saperavi from Georgia. It just tastes so different.
  36. My favorite beer used to be Löwenbräu. Now it’s Midnight Circus One-Eyed Jack, Vergina Weiss and any kind of sour ale – I love them all. But when I’m with good company, the cheapest one on tap will do just fine.
  37. I almost completely lost one of my eyes at age 10 when I was at the receiving end of a strong golf club backswing. I remember seeing everything through a bright green filter when I finally managed to open the eye again. I’m grateful that it healed so well that today I cannot 100% tell which eye it was.
  38. My parents are both language teachers and met at a language school. My mother still works at the same school.
  39. I got a certificate for English teaching to adults (CELTA) in 2013 – it was tough – as I wanted to travel and teach, but that never happened.
  40. I have a C1 in German, a B2 in Spanish and used to be able to carry myself in conversation in Danish and Bulgarian. I still like showing off to Danes and Bulgarians with random words that come back to me.
  41. I actually lack practice in speaking German though and sometimes I can be very self-conscious about it.
  42. I have had a go at a polyamorous relationship. Disclaimer: it backfired quite impressively.
  43. I have done two 72-hour fasts. I heartily recommend trying them.
  44. The only five countries outside of Europe I’ve been to are Australia, Singapore, Turkey, Uruguay and Canada.
  45. The 10 places on Earth I’m happiest I’ve visited: Olde Vechte in Ommen, The Netherlands || The Desert, Australia (if this doesn’t count as a place since it’s the size of several large European countries, let’s say Uluru) || Cabo Polonio, Uruguay || Quinta da Regaleira, Portugal || Heybeliada, Turkey || Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria || Dachstein Eishölle & Mamuthölle, Austria || Calton Hill, Edinburgh || Skane, Denmark || Samothraki, Greece
  46. My 10 favorite cities apart from Athens: Belgrade, Sofia, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Berlin, Istanbul, Montreal, Sydney, Edinburgh, Vienna.
  47. I’ve seen the Northern Lights. It was through the window of an Icelandair flight to Reykjavik. They were so wispy, part of me thought I was watching a projection of my own imagination. Like vapor forming over a hot cup of French coffee, only more linear.
  48. I went to Uruguay twice in 2015 for a total of 2.5 months as a participant in an ambitious global youth project called Rights4Water. My expenses were covered by Erasmus+ and I even got paid to do research and videos about water rights. What a time to be alive.
  49. I spent 9 months of my life in the Greek army. I’m happy to have these memories now.
  50. I used to hate sports as a kid. I was not good at football and other kids would always make me the goalie. I always preferred more cerebral board and video games and would avoid physical games whenever I could get away with it.
  51. I got a gold medal for being first in class in chess in 6th grade. Easiest medal ever: I was the only one playing!
  52. That said, my proudest “everyone gets a medal” medal is from the New Year’s Eve 10K race in Reykjavik!
  53. What first got me into running back in 2013 was C25K, and what kept me there was podcasts. Running and “podcasting” a couple of days per week has been of my favorite hobbies for years now.
  54. I’ve been practicing hatha yoga at Yoga Tara’s Home since February 2018.
  55. I believe in reincarnation and a great Consciousness. Call it God from the book Conversation with Good if you will, or any of the words different world religions reserve for this greater sense of belonging. Belonging to what? That is precisely what God/The Force/chi/prana etc is.
  56. If I had another go at my current incarnation, I’d try becoming an animator, biologist/zoologist, permaculture farmer, or plumber. This last one seems like an effective way of collecting coins.
  57. I have had lucid dreams and wake-induced sleep paralysis on numerous occasions. I even think I had an out of body experience after one of those sleep paralyses, but I’m not sure it wasn’t a dream. I’m deeply fascinated by these in-between states that could be portals to fundamentally distinct planes of consciousness.
  58. I even used to keep dream diaries on and off. It’s deeply satisfying, but incredibly difficult to make it into a habit so that it really sticks and becomes useful.
  59. As a kid (roughly around 11-12 years old) I was actually scared of falling asleep. The part where you lose consciousness every night without noticing terrified me. I would read comic books (my favorite ones were those with Donald & Scrooge McDuck) to trick myself into falling asleep without thinking too much about it.
  60. For a time I was also scared of earthquakes, especially after experiencing the ’99 quake in Athens, probably the one moment in my life so far I was kind of certain that would be the end. I was also scared of UFOs and alien visitations after watching many episodes of The X-Files with my mother late at night.
  61. During 7th & 8th grade, I went to a “morning-afternoon” school. One week I’d go to school as normal, and every other week school was from 2pm to 8pm.
  62. My pre-teen obsessions were Pokemon, Star Wars and Harry Potter.
  63. Apart from the Star Wars Original Trilogy, the movie I’ve watched the most times is (probably) Tommy Wiseau’s The Room and always with different people (not a coincidence).
  64. My top 10 favorite series in no particular order: Spaced, Flight of the Conchords, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Black Mirror, Utopia, Rick and Morty, Peep Show, anything narrated by David Attenborough, The Queen’s Gambit.
  65. My top 10 fiction movies in no particular order: Before Sunrise, Babel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Arrival, Lola Rennt, Ex Machina, Parasite, On Body and Soul (Testrol es Lelekrol), Memento, Hot Fuzz.
  66. The first video I ever made using Premiere was called Krama – Greek for “alloy”. About 10 minutes long, cut together from 320*240 @ 15 FPS clips I shot through my first digital camera, my PowerShot A60, featuring school life during 10th grade and all the stupid shit my friends and I would do. I burnt it on DVDs complete with printed sticker covers and distributed it to my friends. It’s delightfully cringy!
  67. I have a passion for experimental film photography — I call it experimental because when I process and develop the films I always scratch them and overexpose them and use expired chemicals that distort them in ways ranging from the visually interesting and conceptually pleasing to the utterly destructive. I guess digital photography is to film photography what typing is to handwriting — only if ballpoints and pencils had never been invented and the only way to write would be to use fountain pens with highly toxic, expensive ink that would be invisible unless you processed it in random bathrooms and darkrooms. It would definitely make receiving a hand-written letter from your friends special!
  68. My favorite film photography technique is multiple exposure.
  69. I used to do theater, especially in university, but something never completely clicked with me and this art form.
  70. Just four months before sitting for my high school finals in 2006, my ‘panelladikes’, I decided to try my hand at becoming a graphic designer. I started cramming for freehand drawing and architecture design. I failed both. My first alternative was the audiovisual arts dept of the Ioanian University in Corfu, but I ended up moving for university to Mytilini, the only decent school my low score could afford me to enter. I don’t regret it one bit.
  71. In 2012 I applied for a postgrad in Digital Arts in the Athens Academy of Fine Arts after a 10-day seminar where I created an interactive art installation using Kinect and Processing and hitting it off with the professor. They didn’t accept my application or anyone else’s that year, because there were not enough fine arts students among the applicants.
  72. I never applied for another post-grad, and to this day, I do not hold a post-grad.
  73. I used to play the recorder and later on the clarinet. Later, I dabbled with the guitar and bass guitar but never had the patience to get good. At age 21, I sold my bass guitar to get sailing classes. Nowadays I’m learning the keyboard and the music skills I got as a primary school kid still prove useful today.
  74. I’ve seen Roger Waters live twice.
  75. I started listening to music as in really developing a musical taste at around 14, and that barely. Before that I would refuse to listen to anything that wasn’t a video game soundtrack.
  76. I’m a confused fan of Last.fm music scrobbling. I love having my music tastes analyzed by the machine, but I hate it when I listen to something (e.g. on YouTube) and it doesn’t get scrobbled. It should be everything or nothing, and at this point, nothing seems like a healthier choice.
  77. Though I’m not a big fan of Britain in general, I have soft spots for certain aspects of British culture: I love British accents, the British sense of humor (or is it… humour?), as in No Such Thing As a Fish, Monty Python, Mitchell & Webb, Blackadder and many more, and more and most if not all my favorite musicians are British (e.g. Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd and more ’70s prog-rock bands).
  78. I sometimes write morning pages — three pages of free-writing, first thing in the morning. They’re supposed to be a daily habit for life but I might go for months without touching my pages.
  79. I smoked my first cigarette at 19. I had been smoking on and off for many years (“never go past 5 per day”) until one day I just quit, save an odd bummed cigarette once every couple of months. It actually feels bad smoking it instead of satisfying, unless I’m at least moderately buzzed. It definitely has to do with me starting to exercise more frequently.
  80. I love personality typology to the point part of would like to get involved with it professionally one day. I’m an INFP in MBTI and a 4w5 in Enneagram. I did Jordan Peterson’s Big 5 Test and it gave me a 0% on Conscientiousness which just sounded way off in a suspect way. I don’t like the Big Five because it’s largely descriptive and not at all prescriptive.
  81. My disgust threshold has gone way up over the years. But disgusting egg smell still gets to me.
  82. I cannot dive head-first into the water.
  83. My shoe size is 44.5 or 45, depending on the shoe.
  84. I used to do lots of couchsurfing, both hosting and actual surfing. I miss it a lot!
  85. I’m one of those people without wisdom teeth.
  86. I have trouble keeping friends. I struggle with taking initiative socially and this brings me guilt.
  87. I never grew up listening to Greek music so I’m making small steps catching up. At least I can now tell my Savopoulos from my Mitropanos.
  88. I’m a fan of maps of all kinds and an even bigger fan of the saying: “the map is not the territory”.
  89. I’m knowledgeable about the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere and always find it curious how few people know how to find the Pole Star. Weird flex but ok.
  90. I have a strong feminine side, but I’ve always only been attracted to women.
  91. I have attended Beltane, the Celtic spring fertility festival in Edinburgh. Surely the biggest bonfire I’ve ever seen.
  92. The strangest thing I’ve eaten is big, juicy, tangy ants. They tasted like lemon.
  93. I’m a devoted, experienced nosepicker!
  94. I’m also a passionate fidgeter. When I’m immersed in deep conversation over coffee or drinks with people, I will always absent-mindedly roll receipts that are within range into little tubes or do similar little things.
  95. I can’t roll my tongue. I read somewhere that the ability is not purely genetic, as per common wisdom. Can I actually teach myself this?
  96. I always support the underdog. Even if that means rooting against my own country! Some call it traitorous, I call it spreading the joy around.
  97. Markets and flea markets can give me mini panic attacks. I suppose it’s the sheer amount of stuff that overloads me. Analysis paralysis on overdrive.
  99. My wife Marilena and I wanted to marry on September 11th. The Piraeus Town Hall didn’t do weddings on Fridays, so we settled on Saturday, Sep. 12th.
  100. Marilena and I are expecting, and our son’s estimated day of birth is my birthday. But only 10% of women actually give birth on these estimated dates. Still!