25 random things

I got passed this on Facebook, by an old friend who 'tagged' me in his list. For those of you not on Facebook, that's probably a good thing. It's strangely alluring. But I enjoyed writing my own random list, so I thought I'd share it here, in a "get to know me" kind of way.

1. I was in the army for several years. Ok, you knew that. When I joined, I thought I wanted to be an Army Ranger. Because jumping out of functioning planes while carrying a heavy load sounded like fun. Also, I was slightly inebriated. Then I sobered up and settled on a job that didn't involve plummeting intentionally to the ground. Sometimes I still regret not doing it.

2. I like musical theater. I still can and do sing all of the parts to "Jesus Christ Superstar" when playing the album in my car. My family does not let me do that when they're with me.

3. My favorite three tv shows of all time are Family Ties, Firefly and Gilmore Girls. I am not ashamed.

4. My mother still makes finger quotes when talking about "computers". She also thinks that I am, somehow, involved in the making of "computers". Even after I've attempted to explain that it's more loosely based on the use of "computers" than the manufacture of them. But who am I kidding. I can barely explain what I do for a living to most people.

5. 3.14GB of my iPod - or 2 days, 9 hours and 32 minutes of play time - is consumed by Bluegrass.

6. I have tried out for Amazing Race with my buddy George twice. I'm still convinced that he and I would kick ass. Which is why they didn't put us on the show. Because we would make the other contestants seem pitiful and sad.

7. I relish 'bonnet and bustle' movies (e.g. Berkley Square, Wives & Daughters, etc.). I've watched 'Pride & Prejudice' (the Colin Firth, 5 hour version, not the pansy Keira Knightly version, which not even Dame Judi Dench could save) so many times that my Bride got sick of it.

8. I've read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" several times. I have to limit my reading of it, however, because I become a callous preachy asshole for the duration.

9. I told my daughter that popcorn comes from chicken poop. Little Amish women in the midwest feed special corn to their chickens, and then collect and clean the by product, package it and sell it to us to pop into popcorn. When she expressed doubt, I told her to ask her teacher what chickens ate. She, of course, answered corn. My daughter thinks I am a genius. My bride thinks I am going straight to hell. I think it is worth it.

10. I love kayaking, snorkeling and diving, and any kind of water activity. However, I am terrified of the things the live in the water. I refuse to touch anything I see while kayaking, snorkeling and diving. Also, I am a terrible swimmer.

11. I still occasionally collect and paint Warhammer figures, though I haven't played in years. My inner geek, it *roars*.

12. I broke my first car by never changing the oil. It was summer in Atlanta, and that dashboard light was on for a week or so. Who knew?

13. When we were 13 or 14, my buddy and I took a bulldozer on a joy ride through a construction sight in the middle of the night. For all of about 12 feet. We thought we were the most daring couple of guys on the planet. He later got arrested and thrown in jail for trying to outrun the cops in his Pontiac Firebird. When he was 16. Not when he was 13. I was never arrested, but I did get a speeding ticket for pacing a cop doing about 110 once. My girlfriend at the time thought I was an idiot. Looking back on it, she was right.

14. I attended the former Georgia Military Academy from the 1st grade through the 9th. We had to stand at parade rest in P.E. I received 49 hours of detention in my 9th grade year - mostly for uniform violations, but one time because I said "shit" in front of the girl's swimming coach's hearing. (He was later fired for propositioning part of his swim team). I attribute the time spent in detention hall to my later success in being able to write 500 words on any topic you choose. Seriously. Go ahead and try me.

15. I was the Rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof, which we took to the main stage of the ... um... crap... it's a big summer meeting where lots of high schools go to show their plays and work on stuff. In Muncie, Indiana. Oh, never mind. It was high school, and in Muncie, and I played a 80 year old mostly-deaf rabbi. How big a deal could it have been? I still have the t-shirt, though.

16. We named our daughter and first born after our grandmothers, with much soul-searching and full of meaning. We chose the name for our son and second born because we thought the name was cool. I think that might come back to haunt us later.

17. I have, at various times, had wild crushes on Annie Potts, Bernadette Peters, Helen Hunt and that chick from Buffy that was also in American pie. All of them except Helen Hunt have red hair. I think Helen Hunt would look good as a red head.

18. I have 8 saws that plug in to the wall in one way or another. I have 4 saws that don't plug in. I need more saws.

19. I cannot keep my closet tidy. I try, and have made attempts at various organizational systems. I know people that keep their closets more well organized than Martha Stewart. I hate those people.

20. I have gone ice skating exactly twice. I left blood on the ice both times. My 6 year old daughter can skate backwards after just a few lessons. I have reached a stage in my life where I accept that I will not be the master of every endeavor. From now on, I will sit outside the rink and drink Glühwein. That I have mastered.

21. My high school graduating class was >250. students. I remember 3 of them. I'm not sure that all 3 remember me.

22. My life goals include (but are not limited to) publishing a book, playing the banjo on a stage that I don't own or have paid to use, and reading all of James Clavell's books.

23. I have drunk (drank? drunken? drinked?) moonshine. I have never smoked marijuana.

24. My nickname in the Army was "biscuits". I am occasionally tempted to put that on my business card.

25. In 2009, I am buying a dozen-ish chickens and planting a sizable vegetable garden. Not because I care about what goes into the supermarket packages, or because of the fragile state of the economy. But because I want my children to have a connection to what it takes to take care of things. And because I take pleasure and satisfaction in doing things the hard way sometimes. I'm perverse that way. There is a 70 year old man inside me, itching to climb out and talk about how things used to be. I aspire to be crotchety.