Miranda tagged me on Facebook to provide 25 random facts about myself, and if I’m to be totally honest, I’m struggling to come up with 25 even remotely interesting random facts at the moment that (A) couldn’t be gleaned from my bio page, and (2) don’t make me sound like a total loser (or more like one than I actually am). So you’ll have to forgive me if this meme dies on the vine. I was already working on a countdown-type thing for the end of the year, though, so I thought I’d try.
1. Chocolate + peanut butter = possibly the best taste in the known universe. In ice cream form, I call it sex on a spoon. Yum-o-rama.
2. I love a dimly lit room. My eyes aren’t any more super-sensitive to light than anyone else’s, but I do my best work (and I’m happiest) in a room that’s dimly lit, preferably with colored lights. Gobs of white light pouring down from overhead makes me…well…very tired.
3. I don’t “do” Halloween 99% of the time. That’ll probably change now that I have a kid, but generally I just don’t do Halloween – which is pretty surprising considering that I most definitely do April Fools’ Day. Some of my April Fools’ Day pranks are legend, and a few probably would’ve been legally actionable. If they’d ever made it on the air.
4. It’s probably best that I’m not working right now because I have a weird habit of duplicating my work gear at home…so I can mess around and do actual cool stuff on my own time! After working in radio in the late 80s/early 90s, I got myself a big mixing board and a second CD player at home. After working in TV for 14+ years, I got video editing gear at home. Actually, I suppose this is pretty sad if you think about it.
5. People mistakenly regard me as some kind of computer wiz. I’m really not. I was back in the pre-mouse days of typing everything in on an Apple II, but I’m not in the world of Windows. I can’t fix your computer or make it do things that computers just can’t do. These days, at best, I’m a “power user.”
6. I love godawful puns and cheesy jokes, and love delivering them badly (think of the Joel years of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – in person, I totally try to steal Joel’s delivery). To me, there’s more humor there than there is in trying really hard to do the comedian thing – and it takes more guts, because you’re kinda making yourself look like an idiot momentarily, and not everyone finds that funny (my wife, for instance).
7. I compose music, write lyrics, play keyboards (somewhat well), guitar (not so well) and drums (thank God you can’t really play those out of tune), and sing too (banned by the Geneva Convention for use as a torture device). One thing I cannot do, however, is read or write sheet music to save my life. I can play by ear, but sit me at a piano with music manuscript in front of me and I’m useless.
8. Somewhat related to #7 – when singing along to CDs/MP3s/minidiscs/whatever, I’m known for replaying a given song an annoying number of times just to try on different parts of the vocal harmony to see if I can find one that fits my (nails-on-a-chalkboard) range better. It’s a hoot on long car rides, trust me.
9. Famous/semi-famous/quasi-famous/not-that-famous-but-very-cool people I’ve met: the first man to walk in space (Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov), the founder of Atari (Nolan Bushnell) and an alarming number of ex-Atari programmers, most of the members of the classic ’70s lineup of ELO who happened not to be Jeff Lynne or Richard Tandy (because they were touring as ELO Part 2 at the time).
10. I do a lot of my internet/e-mail business on a small handheld computer with wi-fi, because it’s easier to keep up with the kiddo that way than sitting at a desktop machine all the time. Huge chunks of my web site were written while I was on the can. And no, you probably can’t tell which ones.
11. This one’s probably pretty pathetic, but what the heck: I still have virtually all of the Star Wars figures I had when I was a kid. Though I’m a bit less in love with Star Wars than I used to be, I still like collecting figures as time and funds permit (in the 90s, I was snapping up Star Trek characters; these days it’s Doctor Who). (Not sure how this will someday play out with regards to maintaining strict boundaries between my son’s toy collection and my own…)
12. I remember my second birthday vividly…mainly because I got the snot slapped out of me for not hushing up while grace was being said before dinner! There’s more to the story than that, but I won’t bore you with the details, – suffice to say, not everyone remembers their second birthday. Hopefully anyone who does has better reasons than I do!
13. Over 60% of my music collection is movie & TV soundtracks. Not the kind with “various artists” songs on them, but the kind with the background music. I’d love to do music for a movie or TV show someday; that way I could actually get some decent music out there without having to worry about anyone hearing me singing.
14. I’ve sustained quite a few horse-related injuries: a kick to the kneecap, a crushed foot, bruises and bites aplenty. Surprisingly, I only walk with a slight limp these days. I love horses, especially Arabians, and I’d never worked with one close-up until almost ten years ago.
15. Most people think winter is hot-cocoa-sipping time. Not me! Winter is ice cream time for me. My favorite winters ever were when I lived in Green Bay – gobs of snow and, what with it being the dairy state and all, gobs of ice cream. (When chocolate peanut butter ice cream was available, you better believe I put on gobs of weight.)
16. I’m a huge sci-fi fan, but I’ve never been to a convention. I’d like to go to one some day, but they generally don’t waste their time coming to my neck of the woods.
17. Before my son came along: I was terrified of being a father, and my wife wanted to be a mom. When we found out we were expecting: my wife was very worried, and I was so happy I could’ve exploded. I probably came closer to the exploding point when I found out it was a boy. I still don’t know who flipped the role-reversal switch there, but I suppose if I had to squeeze a critter out of my loins, I’d be a little bit apprehensive about it myself.
18. I haven’t done a radio or TV voice-over in at least two years now (I used to do them all the time); I still get brought up short when I hear my voice on a spot that must’ve been running for anywhere from 2 to 10 years.
19. I can’t sleep worth crap when bad weather’s coming in. I’ve been through more than my share of tornadoes (including the 1996 Fort Smith tornado, at ridiculously close range), so I’ve got a bit of a hyperactive sixth sense there. Someday this will probably come in handy when the kiddo goes through that initial scared-of-thunder-and-lightning phase.
20. I have a positively silly amount of music in my library with lyrics in languages that I don’t speak (Japanese, Chinese, German, Swahili), don’t speak fluently but can understand (Spanish, Maori), and some with languages that are just plain made-up.
21. I’ve been chased by an angry ostrich. In the past ten years. I wasn’t trying to invent the Joust LARP, I was just trying to feed it.
22. It’s probably a holdover from high school drama, or radio, or watching lots of TV from other countries, but I can pick up and imitate accents very well; I’m not going to say flawlessly, but well enough to not stick to insulting stereotypes. (I speak in a very accent-neutral voice most of the time, definitely a holdover from the radio days.)
23. I can’t watch commercials or news promos – I get way too critical of how they’re written and produced, because I used to make commercials and news promos myself. I have a hard time listening to radio for the same reason, especially since I started out in the days when saying “ass” on the air wasn’t cool, but was instead a one-way ticket to unemployment.
24. Always turn into a skid, not away from it. (Can you tell I’m struggling here?)
25. Ten years ago, I was Mr. Microwave. Nowadays I make up my own recipes out of thin air (some of them quite good, some of them…biologically inadvisable), and do 90% of the actual cooking in the house. Scary, eh?
So there you go – just what you wanted for Christmas, stuff you never wanted to know and would probably do anything to get out of your head right now. So there you go! As soon as I get a chance to figure out the Facebook tagging thing, I’ll tag some folks who might not be offended by being tagged for this kinda crap. Until then, feel free to spill your somewhat trivial guts too!