A while ago, I was tagged by Jess Witkins to come up with 10 Random Facts about myself. Variations of this game have existed for years; in 2009 it was all the rage on Facebook. That being the case, you’d think I’d have this down pat. I even pulled up my FB list to see what I’d written then (there were 25 to choose from), but I’ve either already blogged about a lot of those things or they’re no longer relevant. This is why it’s taken me so long to respond to Jess’s challenge: I’ve actually had to think about this post! Sometimes, thinking is overrated. Luckily, I was able to come up with some hopefully-interesting (and definitely random) tidbits to write about. Without further ado, here are ten random facts about me, in no particular order other than descending.
10. I once predicted an earthquake. I was living in San Jose at the time, and one afternoon I had a strong feeling there would be a pretty decent-sized earthquake somewhere in northern California within the next twenty-four hours. I felt shaky, nervous, and lightheaded; the feeling was so intense that I actually announced this prediction to my coworkers. That night, there was a magnitude 6.5 quake off the California coast that caused minor damage in some of the northern coastal communities. Believe me when I say, that freaked me out. The next day at work, I had a room full of very impressed people who looked at me a little differently. Because of that experience…
9. I suspect I have borderline psychic abilities. I just don’t know how to channel or develop them. When I make a concerted effort to concentrate and focus on something – like, say, what somebody I’m talking to on the phone is wearing – I usually miss completely; it’s only when I let my mind go “blank” that I can snatch something out of thin air that turns out to be true. That happens a lot. I used to work with a woman whom I was highly in tune with. I would ask her, for instance, how badly the cut on her finger was because I’d “envisioned” she cut it the evening before while chopping vegetables, and she would stare at me in amazement, wondering how I knew that. Excellent question. Maybe it’s all just coincidence…but in my heart, I don’t believe that.
8. I can’t drink soda out of a can, and I despise plastic. I’m all about glass, baby! And it’s not just because of the environment: I think beverages taste funny when they’re served in aluminum cans or plastic bottles. When I first started dating my ex-wife, her dad always bought Coke and Sprite in glass bottles, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Too bad they’re hard to find these days. I always pour my drinks into a glass first, unless I’m out hiking or driving and it’s just not feasible. Dear wine industry: if you ever convert to plastic bottles, I’m switching to beer.
7. I voted for George Bush Sr. in 1988. You might be thinking “so what?”, but trust me – this is something I’m embarrassed to admit. I’m a pretty liberal guy and a staunch Democrat, so why I voted Republican in the first Presidential election in which I was old enough to participate is beyond me. I guess my political ideologies were still taking shape at the age of 19. That, and Dukakis didn’t inspire me. To his credit, the elder Bush wasn’t a terrible President, and is in fact a fairly likable guy. To my credit, I’ve voted Democrat in every election since.
6. I kissed a girl for the first time when I was 6 years old. And I liked it. Her name was Julie Love (perfect, huh?) and she lived two houses down. We went up to her bedroom and made out. Kinda young, huh? I wonder how either of us knew what we were doing (but, umm, we did). A few days later, we got “married” in a pretend ceremony outdoors (though the reception was sparsely attended). I remember having crushes on girls as early as Kindergarten. I’ve just always been very attracted to the opposite sex, I guess. Even when I still played with Legos.
5. I hate watermelon. People always think I’m kidding when I say this, but it’s true. I’ve just never developed a taste for it. It’s not for lack of trying; I pick up a slice nearly every summer, thinking this will be the year that I like it! But I never do. Maybe it’s a melon aversion – I can’t stand cantaloupe, either. I find both fruits cloyingly sweet. Oddly enough, I love Jolly Rancher watermelon flavored hard candies. Go figure. On a similar note, I hate boxing but love boxing movies. Consider that a bonus random fact.
4. I was editor of my high school newspaper…for one issue. My favorite class in 11th grade was Journalism, and I loved working for the school newspaper. I was one of the few people who took it seriously; I came up with an anti-censorship expose on Tipper Gore’s PMRC-related campaign to slap warning labels on records while other students were writing about the new vending machine on campus or Mrs. Brown’s knitting hobby. For the last issue of The Minuteman, the teacher booted the student who had been editor all year and gave me the position. I loved that. Proudest moment of my high school experience!
3. I used to dress like Sonny Crockett in high school. Yeah. White pants and everything. What can I say? I loved Miami Vice. It was my favorite 80s television show, hands down. Sadly, it took me awhile to realize that dressing like Don Johnson didn’t make me Don Johnson. Least proud moment of my high school experience!
2. I’m sort of afraid I’m going to be eaten by a bear one of these days. I love to hike. I usually hike alone. The forests around these parts are home to numerous bears. Add all of that up, and you can see why I have this fear of ending up in the digestive tract of a large and furry Ursus Americanus one of these days. I was out picking huckleberries in a remote forest a couple of years ago, and it was getting late, and I saw what I perceived to be bear tracks on the trail, and I freaked out a little. Inside, anyway. Didn’t breathe easily until I was safely back in my car. The odds are pretty good that I’ll at least spot a bear in the distance one of these days, a fact that makes me want to pick up a can of bear spray…or a gun. I’ll never stop hiking, though. I love the wilderness far too much to let the possibility of a bear attack sway me from hitting the great outdoors.
1. I’m a surprisingly optimistic person. Other than my conviction that I’m going to get eaten by a bear someday, I am a very upbeat and positive person, the quintessential glass-is-half-full personality. This surprises me. By all accounts I should be the most jaded and cynical dude on the planet. I’ve been through the wringer with my exes, have twice lost jobs through corporate downsizing, and am terribly upside down in my mortgage. Despite all this I’ve never been happier, and always believe that each new day brings a fresh start and a wealth of possibilities. More than anything, I feel that I will be happy and successful in life…mark my words. Studies show that optimistic people live longer, healthier lives. I might just make it to 100 after all.
There you have it! If you’re up to the challenge, go for it! I’d love to hear random facts about you…even if you just leave me one in a comment.