Anyway, here are my twenty-seven things. Long-time readers of this blog already know some of this.
1. A new realization: I don't much like air travel at all, but I find airports to be utterly fascinating places. I think there's a story in there somewhere.
2. For the first time since high school, my regular wardrobe includes blue jeans. I still don't wear them that often, but I've got 'em. I didn't even own any jeans in college; in those years I lived in sweats, Zubaz pants, and occasionally my dressier khakis or whatever.
3. My first musical instrument was the French horn, in fifth grade. I switched to cornet a year later, and made the final transition to trumpet two years after that. (The cornet is virtually identical to the trumpet, except the tone is softer, although not quite so soft as a flugelhorn. The playing of each instrument is identical, though.)
4. Vegetables I hated for years, until the last few years: mushrooms, squash.
5. Vegetables I still hate and plan to until death: broccoli, asparagus.
6. I first discovered chicken wings as a food item in themselves when we moved to Olean, NY in 1981. However, the place we always went for wings, a little working-class bar across from a factory called The Roxy, didn't do Buffalo-style wings, so I didn't learn what those were all about for a while. The Roxy's wings were breaded and served plain, with the hot sauce in a little paper cup on the side.
7. When The Daughter was born, the first time I touched her was the brush her cheek with the back of my index finger. I think I did that to prove to myself that she was real.
8. My mother-in-law was a private music teacher and an organist for several churches. She was, in my estimation, very good on the organ.
9. Alan says he can compartmentalize his work life from his home life very well. I can't, and anymore I make very little effort to try. If something is seriously bothering me in either realm, it affects the other. I can't see expending the effort to separate myself into two people or lives. (Not to quibble with Alan's ability or suggest that he's wrong to do so. I just can't be like that.)
10. Extra-virgin olive oil is one of my newest great loves. I rarely eat bread with butter on it anymore; I dip the bread in the oil.
11. As a kid I tended to get unmercifully made fun of for many things, one of which was a tendency to suffer from, well, plumber's butt. To this day I'm paranoid about plumber's butt. Hence the overalls, which solves that problem very nicely.
12. The Wife and I dated five years before getting engaged. Yes, I know the test drive was ridiculously long, but she had to make sure she didn't think I was a complete dingus.
13. I don't spend enough time writing.
14. I love to cook, but I gravitate toward recipes with fewer ingredients. I get tired of cutting, chopping, mincing, dicing, cubing, and all the rest of it.
15. About the only genre of music I can't name a single song or work from that I actually like is rap. I don't think that rap is "noise", nor do I disparage it by saying that "rap isn't music", but it is so generally not my cup of tea that I can't name a single rap song that I've ever heard and liked.
16. I root for the Buffalo Sabres because they're the local team, but I don't know a thing about hockey, to be quite honest. So scant is my hockey acumen that I actually liked it when they superimposed that blue dot over the puck during telecasts of hockey games.
17. I discovered my favorite (living) author, Guy Gavriel Kay, by virtue of one of his books having a stunningly beautiful dust jacket.
18. Being in college in Iowa at the time, there were no Buffalo-style chicken wings to be found in town when the Bills played in Super Bowl XXV (the first of the four they lost). So for that game I made do with a large box of Hot Wings from KFC. For the next two years, I made my own wings with the deep fryer I bought. By the fourth time, I was at home again, but I decided that maybe the factor was my eating wings that kept them from winning. Thus I consumed no chicken wings during Super Bowl XXVIII. The Bills lost anyway. So, I decided that the real factor was nothing that I was doing, but just that the Bills for some reason didn't play very well in those games.
19. For all my love of sophisticated comedy with sparkling wordplay, I love some well-done slapstick as well. A pie in the face always makes me happy.
20. But oddly, despite the facts that I love good slapstick and pies in the face always make me happy, I've never much been fond of the Three Stooges. Abbott and Costello, however, bring me joy -- maybe because they combine sparkling wordplay WITH visual slapstick.
21. The two teevee shows whose cancellations vex me to the highest degree are "Once and Again" and "Firefly". And I didn't even watch all of Firefly until five years after it got axed...but really, that's all that FOX would give it?
22. I've been growing my hair out since early 2000, when I left the restaurant job where short hair was required of men. Since then I've only had a handful of maintenance trims.
23. I've had the beard since April or May 2004, when I was working for The Store and realized that I could grow a beard. I'd had a beard in college, but it had been a scraggly affair back then, with no mustache to speak of. Now I have the whole deal. I keep it trimmed myself.
24. My religious "problem" is that I've yet to find a religion that doesn't strike me as having SOMETHING very wise and worthwhile to say about humanity, the world, and our place within it. How can one be right and all others be wrong? I have no idea how to resolve this spiritual crisis, either.
25. Dogs scare the hell out of me.
26. I sometimes think that my entire life is an endless quest for something that makes me feel the way "Star Wars" did back in 1977, or "Lord of the Rings" did back in 1983, or Berlioz's "Symphonie fantastique" did in 1986, or Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 did in 1989, or Mark Camphouse's "Elegy" did in 1990, or "The Fionavar Tapestry" did back in 1994. I've come close a bunch of times and found a lot of wonderful stuff along the way, but I've never quite replicated those feelings.
27. All you men who have done this meme-thing and included the obligatory thing about your wives being the greatest women in the Universe: knock it off. Mine is. You're all a bunch of pretenders!!! (But seriously, the percentage of all of my happiest memories that don't include my wife as part of them is really, really tiny. And my goal is to make that percentage as tiny as possible with whatever time I have left.)
No tagging. If you feel like it, fine; if not, also fine.