This week, meet Billy — our At-Large chapter representative based in California.
What animal scares you the most?
Dogs scare me the most and this is because I suffered a dog mauling as a young kid of 10 years old — facial scars, arm, and leg. Medical technology in a small town in the 70s was such that the facial scars were still pretty noticeable, and kids that age can be cruel, so I had to build a strong exterior as a kid to work through it. Many years later, my partner recommended I talk to a plastic surgeon to see if scars could be reduced — and to my delight, they could and ultimately were! To this day, however, I still momentarily freeze when a dog approaches me.
What is the craziest thing you’d do for the one you love?
The craziest thing I’d do for the one I love? Haha — what a choice amongst many potentially crazy things. I think anything that involves free-falling in gravity, like sky diving and bungee jumping, for example. I’m terribly afraid of heights and easily get vertigo, so that’s why I’d consider it craziest. One other crazy idea: marriage. 🙂
Which movies made you cry/laugh the most?
I have a lot of movies I like, but my favorite has to be “Beautiful Thing” about young love being found and developing even in the face of adversity. Since I didn’t really come out to myself until I left university at the age of 23, and being gay was becoming more “accepted”, I’ve never had to face the kind of life these young men did. I watch it to remind myself how fortunate I really am — and because I love the dance at the end of the movie. 🙂 I really am a romantic at heart!
What sport do you practice?
I am not a member of any organized sport, but I regularly do two things: jog and bike ride. I usually jog on a treadmill because I like to catch up on all the podcasts that I never have time for during the day — going for a jog outside can be an obstacle course that takes my concentration away from my listening. 🙂 I’ve had to slow my jogging down lately because an old mountain climbing injury involving my knee joint has begun flaring up, and is the reason I took up biking. Biking has a lot less joint impact and allows me to go much farther than jogging. Fortunately, the Redding, California, area where I live has lots of great bike/pedestrian trails, and the mild weather (rarely below 0C/32F) allows me to do it virtually year-round.
What was you funniest experience at work?
Funniest experience at work was several years ago. Back then, my cubicle had an open wall that faced a balcony exit. One morning I had placed a big stack of résumés I had to review for later and a paper cup of water just above my keyboard tray. I left for a meeting and when I returned, I tried typing on my keyboard — and it didn’t work. I didn’t have time to fix it so I just went onto reviewing the résumés. As I read through them, I was puzzled because some had weird mixes of experience and didn’t seem like they went together. As it turns out, a lady across the hall — seeing my puzzled looks, guiltily admitted that when she had gone out to the balcony, a fierce wind had blown in, spilled the water on my keyboard, and blew my paper stack on the floor. She dried the keyboard, got more water, and thought the paper pile had been put together properly, so thought I wouldn’t notice a thing. Glad I did or it would have been an odd set of interviews later on given the résumés I had. 🙂 We have a great laugh about it even to this day.