Friday, November 09, 2007

8 Random Things

Thanks to Steph who tagged me with this meme. I haven't done one in awhile, so I suppose the time is ripe, eh? Steph suggested using humiliating things to, as she so eloquently put it, "keep narcissism in check," but I'll roll with the original idea of simply coming up with random things. I'll leave it up to the reading audience to determine whether or not they are humiliating, as I often will do things that don't strike ME that way, but in fact leave other people curling their toes in embarrassment for me. Sort of like watching a Ben Stiller movie.

1) I am a geek. I mean, I'm on the level of a 40-Year Old Virgin geek. I'm not 40 - not QUITE, anyway! - and certainly a far cry from a virgin. But I do read comic books voraciously, and have 70+ short boxes worth in my basement. In little plastic bags, with little white cardboard backers to keep them all nice & protected. I'm not sure what my eventual plan for this fire danger is: I'd like to say that someday the collection will pay for Roslyn's college, except 1) we already have a 529 started for that very purpose, and 2) what, she thinks I'm gonna sell my comics for HER?!? Well, maybe. If it comes to that. I also play Magic: The Gathering at every opportunity, which has been a lot more lately now that Eric has moved back to Michigan. I have action figures: some are MIB (that's "Mint In Box" for you novices out there) and are stacked 6-ft. high in my bedroom closet at my mother's house. Some are prominently displayed at the same location. Tess has, thankfully, managed to purge such displays from our OWN home, although I've turned my work office into a veritable museum of all things Kiss...that includes a rare, original advertising poster for their 1976 concert at the university where I work. eBay RULES! I have an electric drumset that takes up far too much space in my home office. So, yeah...rock & roll sensibilities aside, I'm pretty much a comic book, gamer dork.

2) I'm a little OCD. To a point: I make lists. This comes from my dad's genes, and it drives my mom crazy. I make shopping lists, which makes sense. I also keep a running tally of my comics, which also makes sense but only if you COLLECT comics. I'm a completist, which means for comic collecting I have some issues that are pretty much dreck, but, dammit, I have to have 'em to complete the set! I like things nice and neat and orderly, which means that occasionally I'll take a trip to Staples in order to buy a 3-ring binder into which I can put pages of a list. Whatever it is.

3) I describe myself as a non-smoker, but I do smoke. Occasionally. Meaning, if I'm with a friend/relative who DOES smoke, I do too. I was a full-time, pack-a-day smoker from about 18 to 30. I went through a lengthy process to quit, and then abstained for a year. I got back into the social habit with my old marching band buddies...most of whom have now THEMSELVES quit altogether, thus shrinking my favourite vice pool. Even my best friend, dammit, the guy who I thought I could always COUNT on to supply me with cadged ciggies, has kicked the habit. Which is GREAT, because frankly he was smoking way TOO much. So, it's pretty much now with my mom, who ought to quit herself but shows no immediate signs of doing so, and my sister-in-law, who also describes herself as a non-smoker but always seems to have a pack hanging out in the garage when Tess & I go to visit. If there was one thing in this world that I personally wish would be healthy that ISN'T, it's smoking. It's like Dennis Leary said in his old HBO special: "I love to smoke!" But, knowing it isn't good for me keeps me from doing it most of the time.

4) I write lots of songs. That probably isn't altogether that random: I am a professional composer, after all. But, I write a lot of pop/rock songs, and then never do much of anything with them. I still harbor this secret desire to someday be a famous rock musician, even though I'm a terrible singer. In my teens I wrote hundreds of songs that pretty much fall into the hard rock/hair band mold of the day, things like All in a Night and 1-800-HOT-LOVE and Iron Fist (Gonna Rule). Now I mostly write introspective, wistful songs with complicated chord changes, such as Magic (my tribute to childhood), Christmas in July (my tribute to the holidays) and The Journey (my tribute to parenthood). I can still be inspired to pen the occasional thrasher, though, especially with the Garage Band application giving me realistic guitar that I can't play myself. The most recent of these was one man's rant about the disappointing actions of his fellow man called Happy New Year, the chorus of which is "Whenever I meet someone/I'll know just what to do/I'll smile so bright, shake so tight/and say 'Happy New Year...and FUCK YOU TOO!'"

5) I marched for six years in college. Six. Years. I marched as a GRADUATE STUDENT. I probably would have majored in marching band, had that been an option. I loved the point of it, working together on the drum line to get dozens of people to play the same thing at exactly the same time, then taking it on the field and making the various forms come out exactly right. I also loved the deviant and hedonistic social aspect of marching band, or at least of the crew that I hung out with. We ate together, we drank together, we slept together. (One of our favourite games at the time was figuring out how often you were connected to The Circle, meaning how many people you'd slept with. At one party I can [barely] remember, I came to the realization that I'd effectively slept with all 20 or so people in the room, as I'd slept with HER and she'd slept with HIM, and so on & so forth. Good times.) I have a permanent & chronic back injury from marching with a 36" bass drum during my freshman & sophomore years. (For those of you counting at home, that's the same size as a concert bass drum.) I mean, I was COMMITTED.

6) I don't like to get my hands dirty or sticky. This is probably the primary reason Miss Tessmacher refers to me as a "delicate flower." I've apparently been this way since childhood, by my mother's recollection. I just...DON'T LIKE having sticky shit on my hands, and when I garden or plant flowers, I must be wearing gloves. I guess this could conceivably go under item #2 above.

7) I'll call anyone, anytime, for any reason. Although I hate the phone, I recognize the need to occasionally call an office or something to get a question answered, and so I pick up the phone and call. I never used to be like this: as a kid, I hated the thought of calling someone I didn't know...but, conversely, would spend hours talking to my friends. It's a complete reversal now: my friend Mike can leave an increasing number of demanding messages that I call him BACK, dammit!, and I can sort of blithely ignore them. But, if I need to know what a particular charge is on my credit card? BING! Pick up the phone and call. I firmly believe that it's the job of someone out there to have the answer to my question, and if I don't get that person on the first ring, I'll ask to be transferred until I get what I need. Weird.

8) I'm an excellent typist. I type VERY fast, nearly 90 words per minute, and I'm usually deadly accurate. I actually had typing as a class in 8th grade, and I've always been really thankful for it. I type the way you're "supposed to" on the qwerty keyboard, and I don't have to look down for anything except numbers and the shifted special characters on that upper row of keys. I made good money during college typing papers for a buck a page (I'd even WRITE your paper, for $5 a page!), and when I first moved to E. Lansing for graduate school I applied for a job at one of the paper-typing storefront businesses.

So, that's it: 8 totally random things, which may or may not be embarrassing. Tag someone? Okay! Let's get Lisa away from her running/nursing thoughts for awhile, and maybe we can convince Mike that he needs to get numbers out of his head for an evening. Lauri-o and Kim could probably stand some blog fodder, and I notice Mark hasn't blogged since September 12th. Oh, and as long as Feral Mom is doing NaBloPoMo, maybe she needs something for this weekend. Get on it, people!


Blogger Steph said...

Oh, Scott. (Shakes head, grins.) This is exactly the sort of list I was hoping you would deliver. Good times.

So, six years in marching band, huh? Fuckin' loser.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Oh thank God. I just posted...well, go see what I posted. I need fodder in a serious way because it's the beginning of the weekend, and I don't think there's any further downhill to be slid than...well, go see.

12:01 AM  
Blogger L*I*S*A said...

Ah, yes, the 8 random things. I'll get to work on it shortly.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Suze said...

My one year in marching band (no, I didn't last long, but I played the flute and there were a million of us) was horrible. Our band SUCKED and we had to do these awful competitions and people had sex in the back of the bus and...well, I didn't miss it at all.

And I sang with a band once. It was great fun and if I lived in michigan instead of 'sconsin, I'd come over and croon your pop music. I really would.

2:57 PM  

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