Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fifty random things about me

My good friend Nick Jones, whose blog Malvie's Musings is linked in my blogroll to the right, has challenged me to follow his lead and write fifty random things about myself. The challenge is that they should mostly be things most people don't know about me.  My life is kind of an open book, except for things I don't want anyone to know, so this might be difficult.  But I shall try.

1. There are few things I am more passionate about than cooking and food.  I really enjoy the science of cooking, and specifically about understanding what makes food taste good and what doesn't.

2. In that same vein, I have perfected the art of grilling steaks.  I have brought women literally to the edge of ecstasy with my perfectly grilled sirloin.

3. I have the dirtiest mind of anyone I know.  For example, I really wanted to make a joke in #2 about pleasing women with my meat.

4. I really wanted to make a joke in #3 about saying "#2."

5. I am really terrible at gambling.  Although I don't believe in luck per se, if there really were such a thing, mine would be all bad.  Which is a shame, because I enjoy betting on horses, blackjack, and roulette.  The last time I went to the horse races, I cashed exactly one ticket--a $2 show bet that paid $2.20.

6. Pink is one of my favorite colors.  I would wear it more often except that my lovely wife has a knack for destroying it in the wash.

7.  Because of my, um, unique body type, it is virtually impossible for me to be anonymous in doing anything.  I'd like to think it was also my personality and charm, but I stand out in any crowd.  I was in the veterinarian's office last week, and the tech asked me if I had eaten dinner at a certain restaurant the week before (I had).

8. Because I am a big guy, children tend to be somewhat afraid of me, like I'm going to hit them or sit on them or something.  Which is funny to me, because I'm very nearly the gentlest person I know.

9. I have, on occasion, used that to my advantage when there were unruly children on airplanes. I admit it.

10. I once made a grown man pee his pants during a telephone conference (he was on the other end of the call).  I rarely get angry when speaking with other attorneys, even opposing counsel, but that jackass needed to be put in his place.

11.  I will read almost anything--books, newspapers, the back of cereal boxes, the fine print on a prescription leaflet.

12. However, notwithstanding #11, I don't feel like I'm very good at reading.  I often have to read something two or three times to appreciate all of the fine points.

13. Sometimes I can't turn off the voice in my head that is reading aloud what my eyes are seeing.

14. I'm doing that right now, even as I type.

15. I am very serious about trivia competitions and have the chops to back it up.  I tried out for Jeopardy! and made the cut, but didn't get picked to go on the air (only about 30% do).

16. I was, however, part of a trivia team that took top prize ($7500) in a major competition earlier this year.

17. When I was in the sixth grade, I was part of a school trivia team that won a national trivia competition.  Don't believe me? Here's the proof. Scroll down to the sixth grade division, and check out the 1988 winner (Pine Bluff, AR).

18.  Earlier that year, Rand McNally had named Pine Bluff the worst city in America.  After we won, the local paper ran an editorial singing the praises of our team, the closing line of which was, "Take that, Rand McNally."

19.  I love dogs, and dogs love me.  Especially big dogs, who want to get in my lap for some reason.

20.  Although I speed unrepentantly, at least on the freeway, I have (knock on wood) received exactly one speeding ticket in my life.  The circumstances aren't important, I suppose, but I had to attend a defensive driving course to keep it off my record.

21. The same Saturday I attended the defensive driving course, I received my acceptance letter to Georgetown Law in the mail.  Talk about your mood swings.

22. The following Monday, the dean of the law school at Fayetteville called me at home to encourage me to pick his school.  I explained to him that I had gotten into Georgetown and would be going there instead.  He said, "Well, I don't blame you."

23. I married my high school sweetheart, sort of.  I broke up with her after graduation.  She didn't give up, though, and as usual she was right.  We celebrate 16 years of wedded bliss next Friday.  She is reading this as I type it and says that I don't have to say "bliss."  Not sure what to make of that.  She's saying something about "16 years of what doesn't kill me makes me stronger."

24. Some of the closest friends I have are people I've never actually met in person.  The Internet is a strange place.

25. I have seen every episode of a number of television series I am somewhat ashamed of, including Charmed, Little House on the Prairie, and 7th Heaven.

26. On multiple occasions, I took advantage of my Sam's Club business membership, specifically the early shopping hours, to purchase Harry Potter books on the release day before anyone else could get their hands on them.  I think that qualifies me as a hypernerd.

27. On Michelle's and my first date, a football game in Watson Chapel, followed by dinner at Taco Bell (high school high cuisine!), I nearly wrecked the car to avoid hitting a dead Dalmatian that was in the middle of the highway.

28. My first Christmas gift to Michelle was a small Dalmatian statue.  We still have it more than 20 years later.

29. I proposed to Michelle so that she would be less upset with me after I killed her fish (trying to be helpful, I cleaned the tank and let the water get too cold).  At least that's how we joke about it.  I had been planning to ask her anyway.

30. I feel pangs of conscience when I kill a bug.

31. But not mice. I will send them to hell with a broom.

32. When I was young and stupid, I once drove from Little Rock to Sheridan (distance: 31 miles) in 22 minutes.  I might have been racing some other young and stupid classmates home after we met for dinner.  I believe I won, but I was so scared that I had succeeded in getting back to town without being stopped or wrecking that I just went straight home to bed.

33. I might have had (and have) the coolest parents ever.  I never had a curfew.  All I had to do was tell them what time I'd be home, and to call if I was going to be late.

34. However, I was so uptight in high school that I never seriously challenged their policy.  I say "uptight" because one of my best friends from that time, and today, told me recently that I was.  I prefer to think I was just sensible.

35. I have a degree in physics, but I remember almost none of what I learned, and I am certain I couldn't hack the math if my life depended on it.

36. I have filed more lawsuits involving infringement of karaoke-related intellectual property rights than any other lawyer on earth.

37. I am not embarrassed by #36.  In fact, I am sort of proud of it.

38. I have attended 24 karaoke shows in a single seven-day period.

39. My record is 7 in one night.

40. The first time I ever argued at a federal court of appeals, Kenneth Starr argued the case heard immediately before mine.  Also, he was awful.

41. I know all of the words to "Baby Got Back" and have performed them publicly to the great delight and surprise of my high school classmates.  Uptight, my ass.

42. I do not like to ride in cars.  Perhaps it's a control thing, but I would rather drive than ride almost anytime.  I routinely drove the 13 hours between Charlotte and Little Rock, even though Michelle was available to drive (and is an excellent driver).

43. I regret #42 whenever my phone beeps with an email or text while I'm driving, because it takes everything in me not to read it.  (Mantra:  It can wait.)

44.I can speak with a flawless British accent.

45. Okay, #44 is a lie, but I can do a serviceable Russian accent, which I have used to great comic effect at times.

46. Although I grew up in the South, most of the time I speak with a standard Midwestern accent.  The only apparent exception, which I do not hear even in my own voice, is that when I say the word "dollar," it comes out Carolina-style, as "dollah."  That is apparently what 11 years of living in North Carolina got me.

47. When I am trying to be charming, my Southern roots show, though.  My speech gets slower, the accent gets turned on, I start droppin' Gs, and my word choices become more colorful.  This effect is particularly pronounced in the various federal courtrooms of the Deep South.

48. I have lived my entire life south of the Mason-Dixon line.  Which is pretty far north, if you ask me.

49. I started programming computers at age 6, working on a Televideo Systems TS-802 in my father's office.  I never really stopped, though today I work mostly in PHP and Javascript.

50. My favorite city that I've never lived in or near is probably Phoenix.  There's just something about being in a hair dryer that really makes my heart sing.

Well, I didn't think I could do it, but here we are.

1 comment:

  1. This is great stuff! And now we know more about you than we did before! ;-) And I know who to call to get me out of a ticket....:-)