1 ) I finished the third grade early due to chicken pox. Luckily, I worked ahead in all my textbooks. Nerd.
2 ) I made a Johnny-5 robot from “Short Circuit” out of Legos. He was fully articulated and composed of mismatched blocks. I always intended to correct the color scheme of the bricks. For twenty+ years.
3 ) I was kicked off my track team in high school. It’s a team everyone makes. I had pink eye and driver’s training so I missed some practices. Little did the coach know that the whole team never practiced anyway. We’d run to another kid’s house and play basketball. Well, that happened at least once… the one time I went to practice.
4) I drove 24 hours non-stop from Denver to Detroit. I was going to stop in St. Louis, but the Arch is ominous and scary at night. I asked my brother who was travelling with me, and slept pretty much the whole time it seemed, if I should press on. He awakened to suggest that i should stop when I needed to. That moment came after I reached Michigan. At one of the early rest stops, I decided to cat nap since the home stretch is always the hardest. As I shut my eyes, the past 24 hours flashed before my eyes like a sci-fi brainwashing session… except mine ended with a red-tinted image of Jerry Springer’s floating head, frozen and smiling, floating away from me.
5) I was an extra in the movie “61*.” It was filmed at Tiger Stadium; I showed up every day for two weeks, along with my siblings. I had a viewing party at my house the night it premiered on HBO. As I had the VCR recording it, my sibs and I pointed out locations we might have been visable, but were not. I thought my best chance to be seen was when the eponymous baseball was caught in the crowd, since I was placed next to the actor who caught it. Billy Crystal opted for the far take. As the film ended, the tape ran out. I put my head down in embarassment and disappointment, only to miss the shot of one of my sisters and I behind Mickey Mantle’s real-life son and grandson.
6) I wrote freelance movie reviews for my local paper. The best movie I saw: “Lilo & Stitch.” The worst: “Queen of the Damned.” It was a rough time for movies. I did get to write an opinion piece on adding another month to the year for just one year to straighten out the seasons. I had a few suggestions for names. Milleniary. Millenember. Millenust. Hey, it was early in the millenium. Okay, it was 2002.
7) I spent a month in Europe and didn’t drink. Well, Coca Cola and water, of course, but not a drop of alcohol. We went from London to Paris to Barcelona to Nice to Florence to Rome to Venice to Zurich to Interlaken to Basel to Berlin to Amsterdam and back. Yes, Amsterdam. No substance abuse of any kind. Don’t worry though… I made up for lost time when I went back to London, Paris, and Amsterdam again. And I more than made up for it when I went to Japan (not sake though… rum and coke… I’m so cultured).
8) I’ve slept in worse than a futon. For a stretch I set up a pup tent in my bedroom to sleep in. For another stretch I had a hammock. The secret to sleeping in a hammock is to sleep diagonally so it hugs you like you’re the contents of a taco. What? I love camping.
9) I wrote a fact sheet for a blog. I shaved my entire body to celebrate my 25th birthday. All right, I said it. Now let me explain. It wasn’t for a bet, but it was for a good reason (not really… I wish it was a bet). I shaved everything – including my eyebrows – to make me “born anew” into my (hopefully) second quarter of life. Don’t ask me where I got the idea… all right, all right! I got the idea from Tyne Daly, formerly of “Cagney & Lacey,” sister to Tim of “Wings” and “Private Practice.” She was on a late night talk show, and she brought up the story of how she spent her 50th birthday. Okay, it’s far from a good reason, but it was an interesting social experiment at the time, especially since I worked in sales. Ugh.
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