Ah, I see that Erin has tagged me with the vicious Seven Things Meme, wherein bloggers are supposed to provide seven facts about themselves. For a long-lived blogger like myself, this meme gets harder every time it comes around, since I run through a roster of facts in my head and rule them all out on the basis that I'm really, really sure that I've already posted them before in a previous iteration of Seven Things. So, here we go:
1. My idea of an ideal vacation these days consists not of journeying to some far-flung and exotic locale, but simply packing some clothes, getting in the car, and driving somewhere, with only these rules: No driving on Interstates or expressways of any kind, and No eating at chain establishments (except for local chains that you'll only find in a single city, like Ted's in Buffalo). The Wife and I recently took such a journey, and it was as magical a weekend as I can remember. The best way to find good food? Drive into a town and eat at the place whose parking lot is full. Especially if the windows all have neon beer signs and the place's name includes the word "Inn".
2. I'm not sure what my objection is, but I can't stand Dancing with the Stars. I literally hate that show. I was on the fence about it for a while, but then I decided that I really can't abide the show in any form. I suspect that this is because the show tried to convince me that Mario Lopez is sexy.
3. Despite living in the Buffalo area for seven years now (minus winter of 2002-2003, when we lived in Syracuse), I've never eaten at Louie's, and I hadn't eaten at Mighty Taco until just two years ago. Why? I dunno.
4. The Wife's first gift to me, back when she was The Girlfriend, was, if memory serves, a teddy bear with a lavender ribbon around his neck. I think she doused him with perfume. He's still around the apartment somewhere, although the ribbon may be gone; The Daughter probably has him in her stash of animals. I named him Bertrand, after Bertrand Russell. (I was a Philosophy major; what do you expect?) We ended up with a number of stuffed animals together, and we named a lot of them, although I only remember two: Bertrand the bear, and Barry the stuffed bison that we bought at the gift shop near Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park. (Barry for Barry Bonds; this was 1992, when he was leading the Pirates to their third straight NL East title and well before any hint of steroid use.)
5. My first gift to The Wife was a little Laughing Buddha figurine that I bought at the gift shop at the mall in Olean, NY. That gift shop isn't there anymore. (In Olean, most things aren't there anymore.)
It wasn't quite what she expected for a first gift from a still-new boyfriend. I bought it for her while at home for spring break; we'd been dating for little more than a month, and I got a bit of a freakout when I tried to call her at the house where she was staying (in our Iowa college town; I was at home in WNY), and was informed by her landlord that there had been a death in her family. I worried a bit before I remembered that she had told me that her grandfather had been quite ill, and that's who it ended up being. The upshot was that I returned to college from spring break and immediately met my future in-laws. That was just slightly less nerve-wracking than some of the musical auditions I'd done in my life to that point.
6. In high school, I went on exactly one date. It was an OK date, I suppose; some girl (wow, I don't remember her name!) I met while playing in the All-County Band and I went to see some movie with Nick Nolte in it and then we went for ice cream at Friendly's. Not a disaster, but I clearly didn't make much of an impression, since the next couple of times I tried calling her for a follow-up date she said she was busy each time. How naïve was I? It took me that long to recognize that for a brush-off. Whoops!
7. And there was the girl that I didn't ask out. She was a very sweet person, quite short with lovely red hair and a terrific smile. I had a monster crush on her, and yet I never asked her out, although I did give her a rose at Valentine's Day. Yes, you read that right. I gave her a rose. On Valentine's Day. Didn't ask her out. Yeah, I've kicked myself ever since for that one – not out of any dissatisfaction with how things eventually turned out for me, love-wise, mind you! Just out of a "Wow, you were a putz back then!" older-me-wanting-to-kick-younger-me's-ass kind of thing.
A story about that girl (whose name I do remember, although I'm not going to post it here): I once got her in trouble in Trig class, and I felt a bit bad about it afterward, although she thought it funny and laughed it off. She sat in the seat ahead of mine, and we'd gab a bit in the off-moments in class and discuss our mutual disdain for the Trig teacher (whom I loathed, because while this particular teacher was wildly popular amongst the kids, she got that way by choosing one or two kids per class who'd be the brunt of her every joke, and guess who got to be one of her designated class clowns that year). But anyway, on the day in question, I actually fell asleep in Trig class. (Nothing against the teacher on that score, really; I can count on one hand the number of times I fell asleep in a class in high school. Now, in college, I slept through a lot of classes, but not in high school.)
So anyway, I slept through about fifteen minutes of class, and then I came to, just in time to be called on by the teacher. I, of course, had absolutely no clue what the hell the question was, to say nothing of the actual answer. I glanced from the teacher to my friend, the lovely red-head, who was grinning ear to ear as she beheld my expression of total horror. I just kind of gaped like an idiot, not saying anything, until the teacher moved on to asking someone else the question, at which point I tried to hide behind my book as my friend the lovely red-head began giggling. And she continued to giggle, and giggle, and giggle, until finally the teacher took note of her giggling and chewed her out.
That may be the angriest I've ever been toward one of my teachers.
Anyway, that particular class session couldn't end fast enough, and I was pretty well mortified and planned to get upbraided pretty harshly by the lovely red-head for getting her in trouble; but to my pleasant surprise, as soon as she came into the hall she dissolved into the laughter that she had to get out of her system. She wasn't mad at me at all.
I've always wondered whatever became of her. And I've always wondered if she ever thought along the lines of, "Geez, why doesn't that doof ask me out? He gave me a rose, for Pete's sake!"
So there we are, and now I must tag people. Yeesh. I choose...my, I don't know. I'll tag Steph and Nettl -- but each has to post seven things about the other! Heh! (Other than that, go ahead and tag yourselves, folks.)