First, you are all awesome. I had so many questions come in! Thank you all for being so interested.
Second, because the response was intense, I won't be able to answer all the questions here (the blog post would be enormous!) but I promise to attempt to re-tweet, email, or blog in some way about all the questions I've received.
I've decided to do two parts. Today I'll post the non skating questions, and tomorrow all the questions I received about skating in general.
So, without further delay...
Question received via e-mail - How old are you?
A: I'm 28. My birthday is November 26th.
Question received via Twitter - I've seen you Tweet about things other than figure skating. What else interests you?
A: Lot's of things! Politics, Globalization, and Travel are probably my biggest interests outside of figure skating.
Question received via Twitter - Are you gay?
A: Yes. Member since 1998.
Question received via Twitter - What's with your obsession with United Airlines?
A: Do I have an obsession with United? Hahaha! We'll, I'm not their spokesperson or anything but it is my airline of choice. I have the United Mileage Plus Gold Card Visa which I use to pay all my bills and make all my purchases with, I then pay off my balance each month. I earn Frequent Flyer Miles that take me to cool places like Vancouver for the Four Continents Cup and Los Angeles for the World Figure Skating Championships. Because I'm loyal to one airline, I get extra perks too like free seating upgrades, access to airport lounges with free Wi-Fi (so I can connect with all of you), and big savings on both domestic and international fares. United is my airline because I often fly out of Chicago-O'Hare and that is one of their hubs.
Question received via e-mail - I see that you travel much. Where all have you been?
A: I recently earned my masters degree in globalization and to be a true student of globalization one must travel. I've been to every corner of the U.S. Several places in Canada including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto (and surrounding area), Ottawa, Halifax, and Quebec City. I've been also to Tokyo, Japan, all over India, Mexico, France, and all over the U.K. But I'm not done traveling at all...I have designs on visiting Korea and Italy soon and would like to also visit Dubai and Australia.
Question received via Facebook - You are always going on some figure skating trip. What do you do? How do you have so much time off?
A: I have traveled to a lot of figure skating events this past season. It was one of those fortunate years for us here in North America with so many big competitions taking place here. I'm not exactly allowed to mention my employer in this forum but we can say that I work for a healthcare organization in Central Illinois. As for time off, I have to work LOTS before I take that time off but I have a pretty fluid schedule that I can usually work around skating events.
Question received via e-mail - Do you like blogging?
A: I LOVE blogging! Having been a fan of figure skating for 'some time' now I like to think I have a better understanding of the sport than a sports reporter who wrote a 'page filler' piece. I think it's fun to impart my thoughts and opinions on the going-ons of figure skating. Also, I like to learn. I have been wrong about plenty of things and I have found that blogging about something is certainly a great way to get fact-checked! I enjoy reading all the other figure skating blogs out there. They are all unique and offer something totally original. I feel like a member of an online skating community (insert warm fuzzy feeling).
Question received via Twitter - If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: Tough question. First, I've been lots of place in the world and every time I come home I appreciate the things we have here in the U.S. more and more. However, there are two places that I'd have to truly consider living if given the opportunity that are outside the U.S. First, London. Something about London that just fits with me. Last year I spent about 10 days there and didn't want to come home. Perhaps if you live there you might get sick of it, but I saw endless opportunity (and I got Graham Norton's autograph!). Second, Vancouver. I spent many of my years growing up in Seattle and thus naturally visited Vancouver often. I could sit all day in Stanley Park, spend hours strolling in the West End, catch a ferry to Victoria, or drive up to Whistler whenever I wanted. It's truly a magical place and I envy you BC'ers!
Question received via e-mail - I find American elections very interesting. Who was your vote for in 2008?
A: First, a disclaimer! I'm a stout independent. I've never voted for a candidate based solely on their political party. I really try to find out everything about a candidate and base my vote that way. Also, I respect people no matter their political affiliation, healthy debate is what keeps this world turning. That said...during the primary season I was a huge supporter of Senator (now Sec. of State) Hillary Clinton. In the general election, I supported and voted for Senator (now President) Barack Obama.
Question received via text message (hahaha...a friend texted me a question)- Your constantly tweeting from your phone. What kind of 'bad ass' phone do you have?
A: Well, Tyler, my 'bad ass' phone is a Helio by Virgin Mobile Ocean2...but I'm seriously considering changing over to the Apple iPhone 3SG. However, any phone that supports basic text messaging you can tweet from.
Final question, received via Twitter - What's your favorite kind of food?
A: I'm a sucker for Thai!
Hopefully you all feel like you know a bit more about me. Tomorrow I'll answer some of the skating specific questions I received (tons!)...stay tuned!