This post is inspired by Katie who “tagged” me to post 8 random facts or habits about myself. Like most people, I can’t resist all my narcissist urges. So here goes.
1. I have a series of odd phobias:
( a ) I don’t like handling other people’s jewelry. Specifically rings and (especially) earrings.
( b ) If at all possible, I avoid the use of plastic silverware and straws. Those little spoons they give you at ice cream shops are the worst. In fact, many small plastic objects are going to cause me some level of anxiety. This one does have a small story associated with it. When I was in sixth grade I remember this kid chewing the end off his pen cap and sucking air in and out of it. The sound of that saliva flowing about…still haunts me.
( c ) With the exception of Shelley, I don’t like to share my drink or take a sip of a drink from the same glass after someone else. When someone asks me: “Can I have a sip of that?” I usually just let them have the rest. It has no specific relation to germs or cleanliness—I just don’t want to do it. End of story.
( d ) This might be somewhat related to point c, but my phobia of it is so intense it is worth its own bullet point. Have you ever noticed when someone with lipstick takes a sip from a glass and the lipstick residue remains behind? Instant gag reflex. No lie.
2. Life as an only child spawned many unusual entertainment options.
As an adolescent, I had a series of fake radio talk shows that I recorded either alone or with my best pal, Jerry. Fake products with fake commercials, interviewing fake guests, doing dozens of impersonations, a variety of voices, and even a recurring character or three.
One popular recurring character Jerry and I created was an inventor named “Harry Feldman”. In our little world of fiction—Harry invented a children’s toy called “The Waterful Ring Toss” and later accidentally discovered that there was a unique ingredient in human urine that caused pajamas to glow in the dark. Thus, he inadvertently invented the glow-in-the-dark pajamas. He was so “popular” that he eventually became the M.C. and features reporter for the show.
Sometimes I would pre-record commercials at certain segments of the cassette and set my stopwatch so I would have to take commercial breaks at specific times. If I had to go to the bathroom, I would just have to wait for a commercial. This is how I simulated live radio in my bedroom.
This went on for years. I wish I still had those tapes …
3. I used to be absolutely obsessed with the band Collective Soul. Seriously, if a member stubbed his toe, I knew about it. Furthermore, I did not tolerate even the slightest implication of a negative notion about the band being uttered in my presence!
There was a positive byproduct of this adulation. I took my first steps into the world of web design by starting a fan site for the band (formerly at collective-soul.com). It was one of their most popular fan sites at the time and gained me many “insider” type connections with the band. At the peak of its popularity, they included the site on the back of their CD, “Blender”. That was quite a thrill and unexpected honor.
Shortly thereafter, though, I decided the 20+ hours a week I was putting into it was a bit much—so literally, out of nowhere, I pulled the plug. It was just as well. Within a week, they released their own official website, and sites like mine became fairly obsolete.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have an affection for the music. But in a normal, you’re-not-embarrassed-to-be-seen-in-public-with-me, sort of way.
4. I love palm hearts (also known as palmito), beets, jicama, and those little corns. Not a lot of people like these the way I do—so I figured it was worth mentioning.
5. The trailer for the movie “Eight Below” made me tear up.
6. When I was in seventh grade, I met Scottie Pippen at DFW airport. It was right after the Bulls won their first NBA title over the Lakers. I was a huge Magic Johnson + Lakers fan at the time and was actually sporting my Lakers ball cap and t-shirt. Fortunately, he still gave me an autograph — so it was a fun experience.
Side note: on that same trip, I also met the great Jimmy Connors.
7. I used to cover the City Hall and Homicide beats as a reporter for the Brownsville Herald. City budgets and dead bodies—it was fairly disturbing, yet a pretty remarkable summer job.
8. More than anything else, I wish I was a professional soccer player.