Friday, November 26, 2010

25 random things about me

This started as a Facebook meme a while ago. After you write your list of 25 things, you are supposed to tag 25 people, and then they’re supposed to write their own lists, etc. If you haven’t already done this, you probably should, as it was actually one of the best things that ever went around Facebook. (That and Farmville.) Most people’s lists were pretty interesting and entertaining. In the spirit of narcissism in which blogs are intended, here is my (slightly edited for public consumption) list.

Rules: once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 (or so) people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. (To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people - in the right hand corner of the app- then click “publish.”)

  1. I’m writing a book titled Three Perfect Minutes: Milestone Recordings in American Music. It’s coming along slowly, but I’m pretty proud of it.
  2. I have pretty well-developed ideas for at least three other books I’d like to write. (Any one of them would have been an easier place to start than the one I actually chose to write first!)
  3. I hate winter, but the Blizzard of ‘78 is one of my favorite childhood memories.
  4. I am trying to embrace winter, partly to survive it and partly to give my son the chance to have his own memories.
  5. I’ve been to 48 states. (Still trying to get to Alaska and Hawaii.)
  6. I don’t belong here in Detroit: all cars look the same to me. Don’t say, “look at that Acura” to me, say “look at that green car.” Because I don’t know what an Acura is.
  7. I am Celiac: my body can’t process gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. I can’t eat bread, pasta, beer, anything cooked with flour, etc. It’s not exactly an allergic reaction, but that’s the easiest way to think about it. I found all of this out by a happy accident in late 2007 and have been gluten free ever since. It has made a world of difference for me. (Celiac is pretty common: in the U.S., about 1% of the population has the condition. Unfortunately, only about one in 30 of us has been properly diagnosed, but awareness is spreading.)
  8. I try to be patient, but sometimes you wheat-eaters just annoy me.
  9. I was completely unable to cry until two things happened in quick succession: 9-11 and the birth of my son. Now I find myself sometimes tearing up over really stupid things. (Does this mean the terrorists won?)
  10. I want to be a pirate. (Not a real one, mind you.) Yar.
  11. I’ve never been any good at sports (at all!), but I really love to play them, especially basketball. In 1991, I played basketball 363 days. I carried a collapsible shovel in my trunk in the winter, so I could clear off the court.
  12. I didn’t have my first drink of alcohol until I was 21-1/2 years old. Then, on a dare, I traded shots of Mohawk vodka with my best friend until the bottle was gone (11 shots each). Then I projectile vomited all over his carpet. That was a valuable lesson in moderation, one I’ve never forgotten.
  13. I always hated taking pictures, but lately it's been one of my favorite things to do. What changed? I stopped "following the rules" and started just doing what I liked and focusing on the things that interested me. My favorite thing to do is find unexpected perspectives of ordinary things, little hidden slices of beauty in the finite universe.
  14. When it comes to movies, science fiction always gets my attention, but it never makes me happy. (Well, the first two Star Wars movies did, but then...)
  15. I’ve never been a big TV watcher. Despite that, I was completely addicted to Seinfeld (despite not even own a TV at the time) and Lost. Other guilty pleasures: The Simpsons, Futurama and Melrose Place. Mostly, though, TV is so bad it’s depressing. Especially the cable news channels.
  16. I witnessed an unexplained phenomenon a few years ago: some glasses slid themselves neatly from one side of a cupboard shelf to the other. I’m highly skeptical of paranormal mumbo jumbo, but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to account for it. Was it an anal retentive poltergeist? God’s tiniest miracle ever? Seismic activity? A gluten-induced hallucination? (That’s not a symptom…) I’m really at a loss.
  17. I know my job as a parent is to help my kids grow into happy, well-adjusted adults. But there are days when I just want to freeze them at their current, innocent ages forever.
  18. I am not a morning person. I am happy to stay up late, but I will do just about anything to not have to get up early.
  19. My life has been first and foremost a spiritual journey. I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve or claim to have it all figured out, but my relationship with God runs pretty deep.
  20. I’m totally OK with the gay thing, and I really don’t see what the big deal is. Can we just treat gay people like people and move on to more important topics?
  21. When I was about eight years old, I nearly drowned. I thank God every day for each day.
  22. I love the smells of diesel, jet fuel, asphalt and roof tar.
  23. I can pronounce "Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg." (Yes, I'm a word nerd.)
  24. I have about 32,000 songs on my iPod right now. That doesn’t include podcasts, books or holiday music. There are no duplicates and very little filler (I tend to keep only the good tracks). I’ve got about 5,000 more songs on my desktop that wouldn’t fit.
  25. I don’t have enough music on my iPod.

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