Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Ultimate Boring Blog-Meme: 100 Things About Me!

In the couple of years I've been blogging, I've seen this particular theme executed occasionally, and as always, I finally figured, hey, why not. So hey, why not. One hundred things about me. (Hey, at least I never did a "Friday Five".) After all, what's a blog without a little narcissistic navel-gazing? (And as is my usual wont with blog-memes that specify a certain number of entries, I exceed the required total a bit. Some of this stuff will likely not be surprising to any longtime readers.)

1. I enjoy very sharp cheddar cheese.
2. My devotion to the Buffalo Bills knows no bounds.
3. Neither does my hatred of the New England Patriots.
4. To this day I remember screaming "NOOOO!" when Scott Norwood's kick went wide-right.
5. Jim Kelly is my favorite Buffalo Bill.
6. Closely followed by Thurman Thomas.
7. I am a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, although this passion is mostly dormant since the franchise is on its fourth rebuilding phase since their last winning season, in 1992.
8. It amazes me that in the annals of dumb sports deals, the Pirates' signing of Andy Van Slyke to a multi-year deal that left them unable to keep Barry Bonds around is never mentioned.
9. I detest the Atlanta Braves.
10. The best moment of each baseball season is when someone knocks the Braves out of the playoffs.
11. If there is a modern-day Faust, his name is "Francisco Cabrera".
12. I enjoy walking with my personal CD player.
13. I genuinely believe that Buffalo would be the finest place in the United States if the city and region would get its collective head out of its ass.
14. I adore chicken wings.
15. My favorite mixed drink is the sloe gin fizz.
16. I haven't had a sloe gin fizz in more than ten years.
17. My favorite wine is Cockburn's Ruby Port.
18. I used to be able to drink a six pack of beer in a night.
19. Now a six pack will last up to a month in my fridge.
20. I flirted a bit with Jack Daniel's in college and briefly after. (An unfortunate night before a wedding – no, not my own – ended the Jack Daniel's experiment.)
21. I drink Diet Pepsi constantly.
22. I am crazy about baked pasta dishes.
23. I also have entirely too healthy a love for fried food.
24. My sweet tooth knows little bounds.
25. I don't like broccoli.
26. My favorite ethnic cuisine is Chinese.
27. The ethnic cuisines I feel guiltiest about not trying are Indian and Thai.
28. I was born in Pittsburgh.
29. By the time my family settled in Western New York, I had lived in eight houses in four states (Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin and West Virginia).
30. My first day of school in sixth grade was only the second time I started a school year at the same school as the year before.
31. I have known Matt Jones longer than anyone else in my life, except for my immediate family members.
32. I met Matt Jones in 1981, in Mr. DiSorbo's class.
33. Living in New York, I decided to attend college in Iowa.
34. I had to constantly explain to people here that Iowa's where corn comes from, not potatoes.
35. So my wife's family lives in Idaho, of course, having moved there from Iowa during her freshman year.
36. My wife is a year older than I.
37. My wife proposed to me, not vice-versa. (In my defense, I already had her ring on order and was going to do the honors when the thing came in. Curse you, jewelry department at the Walden Galleria JCPenney!)
38. The engagement ring is an emerald. To this day, I have not given my wife a diamond.
39. I consider this a colossal failing on my part.
40. I have, though, personally provided her with a starting collection of five porcelain dolls, whose combined price would have equaled that of a small diamond.
41. Our wedding bands are Claddagh rings that we had altered thusly: my ring bears my wife's birthstone, and her ring bears mine.
42. I was unaware until just a couple of months ago that I was wearing my Claddagh ring incorrectly, and thus signaling my availability to the women of the world.
43. Somehow, the women of the world have proven impervious to the effects of an incorrectly-aligned Claddagh ring upon my finger.
44. My sister is an English professor in Colorado.
45. My father is a Mathematics professor in New York.
46. My mother is a retired librarian.
47. So is my aunt, and so was my grandmother.
48. My favorite movie is Star Wars.
49. I hated Star Wars the first time I saw it.
50. In my defense, I was five and it was really the first non-Disney type thing I'd ever seen, and I didn't know what to make of it. I credit my sister with turning me around.
51. I didn't see Casablanca until after my freshman year of college.
52. The first time I saw Casablanca, I didn't quite understand the fuss.
53. The second time I saw Casablanca, I was totally and completely engrossed.
54. I once went nine weeks where every Sunday evening I watched Casablanca.
55. At various times in my life, I have been able to claim the following as "my favorite TV show": Happy Days, Diff'rent Strokes, Star Trek, Dallas, The X-Files, The West Wing, Friends, and Once and Again.
56. I was so little attuned to television during my college years that Twin Peaks had been canceled by the time I heard of it.
57. I grew my hair long partially as a rebellion against my mother, who resolutely insists that all men should have short hair and made sure that mine was so for my entire youth. I got sick of it.
58. I had a beard in college, mostly out of laziness to avoid shaving. I made little effort to keep it trimmed, so I looked like hell.
59. I decided to try the beard again when I joined The Store.
60. It bugs me that in the wake of the Lord of the Rings movies, the long-haired-and-bearded look has not come back into fashion.
61. But then, my own fashion sense has always trended toward "questionable".
62. For instance, I have bought no new clothes except for the occasional t-shirt and black pants for work at The Store in nearly five years.
63. I wear shorts all winter, if I can.
64. I prefer overalls to blue jeans. (More comfortable.)
65. I have never owned a pair of Levi's.
66. The two pairs of jeans I currently own are Old Navy and St. John's Bay, respectively.
67. I think that neckties are the most colossally stupid article of clothing ever devised.
68. (But I know that my opinion on that score would differ greatly were I a woman, and thus required to contend with the high heel, the underwire, and the gamut of goofy crap they have to put up with.)
69. I start to sweat when it's seventy-three degrees out.
70. The idea of living anyplace where the average number of days above ninety degrees in a year exceeds the number of fingers on my hands makes me nauseous.
71. Frank admission time: I actually liked the Pepsi commercial Britney did, when she appeared in several different "decades".
72. I love David Letterman, and I love him most when he's at his most sarcastic and rude.
73. The earliest music I remember ever hearing is John Denver's "Country Roads" and Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue".
74. I have a soft spot for "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow.
75. I am horribly uneducated about rock music of the 1990s, especially "alternative rock".
76. My favorite 1990s song is "Stay" by Lisa Loeb.
77. So many love songs, so little time.
78. I was a trumpet player for a long time, but I allowed that aspect of my life to go by the wayside when writing became more of a focus and outlets for trumpet playing became fewer.
79. I am probably the only trumpet-knowledgeable person on Earth who does not care for Wynton Marsalis's trumpet playing. (There's just something about his tone that I don't like.)
80. I'm also not a fan of Rolf Smedvig.
81. My favorite trumpet soloists are Maurice Andre and Hakan Hardenburger.
82. My trumpet playing hero, though – the guy I tried to emulate in my approach – was Adolph "Bud" Herseth, who held the Principal Trumpet chair in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (thus being the "concertmaster" of the world's greatest orchestral brass section) for fifty years.
83. My alma mater (Wartburg College) has a long-standing rivalry with Adolph Herseth's alma mater (Luther College).
84. The first James Bond movie I saw was Moonraker.
85. My worst habits are either my eating (which has gotten a lot better over the last few years, although there's a long way to go) or my tendency to swear like a sailor (I've made substantial inroads on this as well).
86. I've never been in a car accident, as of this writing.
87. I believe that people who don't tip the pizza delivery person are rude snots who deserve to have their pizza loogie'd upon.
88. The first person who figured out that pork tastes good may have been the greatest person in history.
89. My first vote in a Presidential election was cast by absentee ballot for Bill Clinton in 1992.
90. I strongly prefer cats to dogs.
91. Somehow, I've never developed a habit of reading The Onion.
92. The Simpsons was in its fifth season when I started watching it.
93. My college graduation present from my parents was a Persian kitten that I named Jasmine.
94. Jasmine died in summer of 2002.
95. I have a fairly weak sense of smell.
96. I adore cold weather.
97. October is my favorite month.
98. Purple is my favorite color.
99. I love red-headed women.
100. My wife does not have red hair.
101. I love science museums; the more "push the button and watch something happen" displays, the better.
102. The best science museum I have been in on a substantial visit is the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
103. I've been to Chicago's Science Museum, which has an unbelievable reputation, but only twice. The first time, I was four; the second time was on a college band tour, and we only got something like three hours there.
104. Of the American states to which I have never visited, the one I most want to visit is Alaska.
105. Of the American states to which I have never visited, the one I least want to visit is Connecticut. (I'm sure there's wonderful stuff in Connecticut. I just know nothing about it whatsoever.)
106. The places I most want to see abroad are Britain, Scandinavia, Japan, and Olympus Mons on Mars.
107. I can't stand those artificial social events that companies insist on inflicting upon their employees these days, and I totally clam up at such functions.
108. I tend to come off as something of a cold fish upon first meeting.
109. My sense of humor can be very biting at times.
110. I have the sneaking suspicion that my long-time readers already know all of this stuff, and that my newer readers are not about to read all this stuff.
111. Exeunt.

UPDATE: Nefarious Neddie responds to each of these entries, interestingly enough. There's actually some stuff I didn't know about him. I had no idea that he wishes he were a lumberjack, for instance, or that he puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars.

He also seems to think that we met in fourth grade, but it was fifth grade. I lived in Hillsboro, Oregon when I was in third and fourth grade (Mrs. Grosbeck and Mrs. Pies, respectively). We moved to New York State in 1981, where I commenced fifth grade in Allegany, NY. (I never moved again until college; my parents still live there.)

We actually moved around a lot before we settled in New York. I spend Kindergarten in Wisconsin; first grade in a school outside Portland, OR; second grade in Elkins, WV; third and fourth grades in a school in Hillsboro, OR; and then New York from fifth grade on. The multiple "tours of duty" in the Portland, OR area (there was another when I was a preschooler) were due to the fact that my father, a mathematics professor, wasn't able to get a tenure-track position in a college until 1981. Prior to that, he was only able to find one-year appointments at various schools (with a two-year stint at a computer company, if memory serves).

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