Jack of Many Trades
Douglas J. Farnum opened a comic book store with a partner, tried his hand at stand-up comedy and worked at a series of bagel shops in Brooklyn, concocting sandwiches that sold like crazy.
Shortly after meeting Amy Leong, Mr. Farnum, 33, of Brooklyn, decided he wanted to be able to support a family. He asked his friend Gabriel Polmar to teach him about computers, and ended up finding work as a software specialist for Marsh & McLennan. He developed a talent for finding ways to make incompatible systems work, finding "that the incompetence of others provided him with a challenge," Mr. Polmar said.
Last year, Mr. Farnum and Ms. Leong married. Some things did not change. He continued to find pleasure in comic books, parking-lot frisbee games and the aisles of Toys "R" Us, where the couple acted "like two big kids," Mrs. Farnum said.
Still, some things changed. Mr. Farnum quit smoking and started driving like an old man — a far cry from the stomach-churning old days, Mr. Polmar said. "I have too much to lose," Mr. Farnum had explained.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 4, 2001.