I exist. Really. But where to begin? How to resume a life, a history, a personality into an orderly progression of electrical signals, bits, 1s and 0s, bytes, magnetic orientations, characters, words, sentences, paragraphs? Who am I to describe myself, given how poorly one really knows oneself? Am I not attempting to refer to an imperfect image in an imperfect mirror seen by partial eyes? Why should I judge that any of my personal characteristics is important enough to warrant the waste of your time that will eventually require the reading of this text? Wouldn’t your time better spent at the beach, or outside playing curling, than cuddled up miserably near this pitiful computer, staring mindlessly at abstractions?
[Pause, as dozens of readers quietly hit the “back” button.]
Anyone still reading this? No? Good!
The oh-so-boring straight facts:
Birthdate: September 21st, 197x
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada [Now living in Rockland, Ontario]
Weight: 190 pounds, plus or minus five. (More plus than minus these days)
Hair: Yes… Uh, I mean “Dark Brown, receding, worn short.”
Eyes: Brown, formerly myopic.
Beard: Yes, trimmed every so often.
Marital Status: Happily married. (Sorry ladies, you had fifteen years.)
For the rest of the information, let’s go for a Q&A session called…
Twenty Totally Useless Facts About Christian Sauvé
1. Are you the Christian Sauvé I’m looking for?
Maybe, maybe not. There are at least four different Christian Sauvés on the web, including a French politician, a Montréal-area designer (a fairly good one, too), an influential European artist and an executive with an organic tea company. And that’s without counting all the nine Christian Sauvés in the Canadian phone book, including no fewer than !two! other Christian Sauvés within fifty kilometers of my hometown.
But this particular Christian Sauvé has been on the web since 1995, has published extensively on science-fiction, has some professional experience doing computery stuff, commutes between Rockland and Ottawa and has no outstanding arrest warrants against him. Well, not yet anyway.
2. Hey! There are no photos of you anywhere!
You haven’t looked hard enough. Use Google, and you’ll find a few terribly unflattering portraits of me doing stuff at Science Fiction conventions… (shudder) Some people are naturally beautiful on camera. I am not one of them, usually owing to the fact that I am not beautiful in real life either.
3. But how can we recognize you, then?
I don’t want you to recognize me. Unless you want to give me a briefcase full of cash –although, in that particular case, it’s always best to send an email first.
The usual Christian Sauvé Look™ used to be a blend of unsophisticated but comfortable clothes in hues ranging from dark to black; nowadays, expert sartorial guidance from my wife is upgrading this to a a more executive kind of look. Glasses were made useless through the wonder of laser surgery in 2005 but made a comeback five years later. A short beard is usually on display, given that it works wonders at softening the geekish look with an overwhelming dash of escaped convict chic. (Well, I wish: My siblings tell me I’m about as threatening as a kitten. They should know.)
4. Okay, so… with a name like yours, I guess you’re a Québécois?
No. Nooo. No. My mother is from Québec, I have spent most summers of my childhood on my grandparents’ farm in rural Quebec and most of my family live on the Québec side of the border, but I was born in Ottawa and have lived in Rockland, Ontario most of my life. I have no plans to move and actually enjoy being not-a-Québécois.
5. So, what are you doing right now?
At work, I’m a computer specialist somewhere in the labyrinths of the Canadian federal public service.
At home, well, I read, I write, I take care of myself, my family and my house…
6. Is it true that you know computer-fu?
I’ve been around computers since 1983, when my father brought home a brand-new Commodore 64. Since then, I’ve seen the rise and fall of several platforms, played some thousand-odd computer games, programmed a bit, written a lot, learned much and decided that I was good at this. A Computer Science degree later, you can ask me about the state of the industry today, the Internet or techno-sociological issues, and I’ll give you an answer. Probably a long and rambling one. As a matter of fact, I’m often asked to do so.
7. You’ve been around the Internet for a while?
I’ve been using my main email address since March 1993, and my web site has been online in one form or another since March 1995. I know my way around the net, although the young’ones are now teaching me lessons with their newfangled Twit-hers and Face-books.
8. When you’re not sitting at a computer…?
…then I’m usually reading. Or listening to the news. Or cooking, gardening, walking…
9. I can feel the energy coursing through your veins. How does it feel to lead such an action-packed life?
Hey, I used to say “No job, no girlfriend, no life. Lots of books.” Since then, I’ve managed to get a job, wife, and some semblance of a life, but I’m still a big fan of simple living with an intellectual bent. I go to a lot of movies. I enjoy the gifts of a civilization that doesn’t require me to slay saber-tooth tigers and hunt wild mamooths for food. Have I mentioned that I read a lot?
10. Yes, you did. What’s “a lot”?
It’s roughly 300 books a year (comic books included). Most of it is either Science Fiction, thrillers or non-fiction. As of June 2011, my personal library has recently broken through the 4,500-book plateau, 5,000 if you include the stack of stuff to read.
11. Do you have some authors to recommend?
A partial and evolving list: Arthur C. Clarke, David Brin, Neal Stephenson, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Greg Egan, Walter Jon Williams, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, Lee Child…
12. How about specific titles?
13. Are you as obsessive about movies than you are about books?
I deny it, but friends tell me it’s just as bad. Despite myself, I became somewhat of a cinephile during the late nineties, and a professional reviewer in 2001. Poke around this site to find a list of my favourite movies. Elsewhere on the francophone web, I review movies for Solaris and Alibis magazines.
14. We’ve covered books and movies… Music?
Er… I have no taste and no talent in music. Music simply doesn’t form an integral part of my life: it’s one of the few art forms out there where I’m perfectly happy to remain a fan with no knowledge of how it’s put together.
In general, I like techno/electronica (Chemical Brothers, Prodigy), rap/dance (Jungle Brothers, Beastie Boys) “big beat” (Propellerheads, Fatboy Slim), neo-swing (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer Orchestra) and hard rock (Classic Aerosmith, Rage Against the Machine). More recently, I have discovered the joys of dancehall reggae (Beenie Man, Tony Matterhorn), soca (Bunji Garlin, Colin Lucas) and dubstep (no favourite artists yet).
I used to listen to top-forty radio, but eventually found less and less to like there even though I’m still a huge fan of dump pop. I usually buy used CDs by the pound, rip them to MP3s and then listen to that.
15. What’s your favourite food, animal and plant?
What kind of question is this?
Okay, then how ’bout them Apples, Squirrels and Thistles?
16. Do you have any kind of famous role-models?
If you have spare time on your hands, check out biographies of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Elizabeth I, Marie Curie, Isaac Newton, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, T.E. Lawrence, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman… and Hunter S. Thompson.
17. Do you have any political opinions?
As a federal public servant, I’m encouraged to be as non-partisan as humanly possible, and that suits me just fine. (Partisanship is the death of independent thought.) But that’s not a synonym for apathy, and you can bet that I’ve got opinions on just about everything going on in the news.
This being said, you’d have a tough time classifying my views in anything resembling standard political ideology: I’m a financial moderate and a social progressive, though my own lifestyle is conservative to a degree that would classify me as a honorary straight-edger. (I don’t sleep around, don’t do drugs, don’t smoke and don’t even drink alcohol.)
I used to be far more politically conservative during my teenage years, then steadily became more progressive in young adulthood. I expect that my political views will keep evolving as I age.
18. This is the missing question!
Yes. Well spotted.
19. Is there anything you’re completely inept at? (and wish to admit publicly, that is)
It’s not a public admission: It’s a lifelong learning plan.
I have already admitted to being a musical idiot, but I’ll add that I never learned to play any instrument. I would love to be able to do so, but then again I would love to be able to draw/paint, speak Spanish/Japanese and cook like a master chef, but there are only so many hours in a day.
I walk a lot during the summers (where “a lot” means walking for three hours at least once every week) but that’s the only “sport” I can stomach. Incredibly enough, I am also one of the three or four living Canadians who absolutely can’t skate.
I’m insufficiently socialized and react badly (usually by walking out) to any situation where ambient sound is louder that conversational tone. Generally, I could use a lot of social polish… though I’m better at it than before, and expect to become even better with time.
Like any member of my generation, I have serious holes in my classical education (literature, music, theatre, opera, art, history…).
You probably would like me less in person than online. (And that’s assuming that you even like me online.)
But I try.
20. You ARE aware that psychologists could have a field’s day analyzing your questions and answers?
Yes. Who cares? It’s not like the entire Web’s reading this, right?
Hey, hello GoogleBot.
You can go, now. Send me a message if you really can’t live longer without knowing more about me.