Attack of the Meme: 25 Things

Over on Facebook, there’s a rash of “25 Things About Me” posts going around. While I’m usually reluctant to wax that narcissistic, I do secretly love to pollute the air with self-centered ramblings as much as the next guy. (Plus, several people have now tagged me in their 25 Things lists.) So, if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, here are “25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about [me].”

  1. I’m not a particularly good musician. My sole gift is that I have a good ear, which makes it pretty easy to pick up new instruments and to play along with other people. I have not, however, ever been disciplined enough to get excellent at anything musical.
  2. I have eaten rattlesnake, squirrel, cactus, beaver, alligator and elk. All on a single pizza. The part about the pizza is a lie.
  3. My favorite toy when I was young was the paper feed mechanism from a Xerox machine I had pulled out of a dumpster behind my Mom’s office.
  4. I once sang for a crowd of hundreds of people wearing only a towel. (Well, with boxers underneath.)
  5. There is a spot on my head that doesn’t grow hair because of a fight my brother and I once had. (He is now among my closest friends.)
  6. I often struggle with my faith, and have a measure of envy for my friends to whom it comes easily.
  7. I have worked variously as a house cleaner, a cellist, a driver, a math tutor, a writer, an ice cream cone maker, a bass player, an actor, a computer game programmer, a singer, a recording engineer, and a theater lighting tech.
  8. I have a tremendously smart and talented bunch of friends of whom I am often in considerable awe. Some of those friendships are now numbered in decades — a fact that brings me no end of pleasure.
  9. I’m occasionally tempted to get Leviticus 19:28 tattooed on my arm. (You’ll have to look it up.)
  10. The time in my life I was the most viscerally frightened was when standing on top of a telephone pole, getting ready to leap to a trapeze on a ropes course. Even with all the safety gear, I find heights utterly unnerving.
  11. There is no doubt in my mind that marriage has made me a better person.
  12. I don’t have an ideal job, because there are too many things I’m interested in and would love to spend time doing: photography, writing, humanitarian work, music, building kinetic sculptures, being a Mythbuster, and even a bit of computer work (which is what pays the bills now).
  13. I am profoundly grateful that I don’t always get what I deserve.
  14. I have a (sometimes annoying) habit of trying to turn nearly everything I touch into a musical instrument in some way.
  15. I think it’s so fascinating to see how each of our kids turns out that I have a hard time understanding parents who drive their children to succeed in one specific way.
  16. I’m unusually sensitive to noise, and often shut down after about 10 minutes in a noisy place.
  17. I love physics, and have read textbooks on the subject for fun. The dance of creation is a thing of amazing, baffling, hypnotic beauty to me.
  18. I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time when I was about 10. It was a great story, but I found it hard enough going that I was secretly disappointed that my dad didn’t throw a party for me when I finished the first volume.
  19. I have a terrible memory for personal details, dates, names, etc. As a result, I completely forgot my own birthday one year.
  20. When I was 9 years old, I believed that everyone around me was an alien and that, as the only human, I was the subject of an elaborate experiment. (Self-important little blighter, wasn’t I?)
  21. In spite of various friends’ efforts, I’ve never developed an appreciation for distilled spirits. They all taste like cough medicine to me.
  22. I currently have over 15 kinds of hot pepper sauce in my kitchen, some of which stand a good chance of killing you if tasted undiluted. (Blair’s Sudden Death Sauce: 500,000 scoville units. Compare to Tabasco’s 2,500.)
  23. I’m disappointed that Esperanto never caught on.
  24. I fractured my coccyx about 15 years ago while sliding down a hillside on a piece of cardboard and encountering a sprinkler head. Because the break healed oddly, I can’t comfortably sit in one position for more than about 10 minutes.
  25. I believe that 80’s music is not only the best music in human history, but it’s also the best music that it’s theoretically possible to produce in our space-time continuum. (Though when the LHC comes online again, all of that may change.)