I just ran across a interesting idea on Facebook. The spouse of one of my FB friends posted a note called “16 Random Things About Me” and although I’ve never met her, it was an entirely fascinating read. So much more revealing than those “answer these 20 questions” chain e-mails.
So I thought I’d give it a try…
1) I love to read garden journals. There’s something so intimate in the way dedicated gardeners relate to their landscapes. It’s an intimacy that leads me to feel the “underlying balance” in the world, our connection with the earth.
2) My grandmother taught me how to shop — and to this day I’ve never met another guy who likes the process of shopping as much as I do. I could spend an entire day browsing stores, and not buy a thing. Bookstores and small clothing stores are my favorite. Although there is something about the lighting in today’s big box stores that throws my equilibrium off and dampens the enjoyment of the quest.
3) I had an excessively nervous stomach from age 13 to 21 — especially in social situations. Think Stan from South Park when he sees Wendy Testerburger. It plagued me up until the point my best man and I walked up out to the altar on my wedding day. The nerves disappeared, and have never returned.
4) I never had corned beef until I married my Irish wife. As a kid, the name disgusted me because I thought it was some sort of roast beef that had corn kernels infused in it.
5) I have had exceptional luck with traffic stops. I’ve been pulled over for violations five times in my driving life (and was admittedly guilty each time), but have never received more than a warning. The latest warning came because the officer had given my wife a ticket just an hour earlier and didn’t want to hit the same family twice in one day.
6) The first election that I remember was in 1980 when Reagan was elected. For the early years of my political awareness, I was a Christian conservative. I still cannot get over the irony that I went to college at Notre Dame, and graduated somewhere far left-of-center, practically agnostic — a political-religious attitude where I remain ensconced today. And no, my conversion was not artificially induced.
7) I have a baseball card collection in an upstairs closet that exceeds 30,000 cards — and I haven’t touched in years. Really not sure what to do with it. I missed my opportunity to sell it years ago, so I guess I’ll just hang on to it and let the kid decide if it gets sold in the estate sale when I die.
8) I won the Math and Science Award in my high school for the highest cumulative math and science average over four years and took enough advance placement courses to avoid all but one math class in college — where I majored in political science and philosophy. Now that I’ve finally come to realize that scientific research and reason is the key to understanding our world, I truly regret not following my early inclinations toward science.
9) There aren’t many things I enjoy more than being surrounded by the people I love. But there is nothing more rewarding that those one-to-one moments with family and friends. That is when I feel I’m at my most open, expressive, generous and satisfied.
10) I’m OCD when it comes to things being in the right order — books, CDs, you name it. I can’t even fathom the number of hours I’ve spent trying to create classification/organization systems. It’s probably why I ended up being a programmer.
11) There’s something I do every year at Christmas. Once the tree is completely decorated, I turn all the lights out, slide under the tree on my back, and just stare up through the tree at the lights and ornaments. I’ve done it since I was a kid, and ever year I’m still in awe.
12) I would love to play an instrument well. Listening to music is a great passion of mine, but I don’t think I have the natural talent nor patience to transform from a consumer into a creator. My utter lack of rhythm is likely the major deterrent, though.
13) In my opinion, the greatest flaw in my character is a tendency to mentally drift when listening to a conversation/subject that doesn’t engage me. I’m either thinking about something completely different or anticipating how I’m going to contribute instead of really paying attention to the current speaker.
14) I’m a political junkie. Through and through. I can even watch CSPAN for extended periods.
15) I don’t like the smell of animals in human residences. In a barn, it’s almost natural. In a house, yuck.
16) Information is my friend. Whether it’s the latest sports scores, global news, or what’s happening in your life, I love to know. Ignorance creates this disabling sense of insecurity in me that I try to avoid at all costs. I think that’s why I’ve basically become one with the ‘net. If I need an answer, it most likely has it.