Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fifty Random Things About Me (that very few people know)

1.  I run over curbs.  A lot.  Especially with the right rear wheel.  I’ve done it since I learned to drive.  I have ruined tires doing it.  Still I do it.  I did it today getting out of the driveway.

2.  I have very poor depth perception.  I can climb stairs just fine.  Going down stairs is a mystery I have yet to master.  I have to hold the handrail with a death grip and concentrate on each step.  All my friends are already down and saying, “Come on!” and I’m creeping down step-by-step.  (This is especially difficult when deplaning on the built-in stairs of a small plane). 

3.  Staying on this theme, combine the depth perception problem with not seeing very well at night = I don’t drive very much at night.  I can, but I have to do it very slowly and carefully and completely concentrate on driving.

4.  When in the store (any store, any product), I never pick the item on the front/top.  I have to reach back in behind everything else and get the one that’s just right.  How do I know which one is just right?  I just do…

5.  I hate beets.  Who decided this poisonous item was good to eat???  Not wild about carrots either.  I can eat them cooked, as in pot roast or candied, but just to pick up a carrot, peel it and eat it?  Gross.

6.  I have no ability with wine at all.  I can’t tell the $5 a bottle swill from the $500 bottle.  It all tastes about the same to me.  I’ve done wine tasting classes and had a friend who was a total connoisseur.  He tried.  I failed.

7.  I am the most disorganized person I know.  I am also lucky, frequently random factors operate in my favor and everything turns out ok.  It’s certainly not from my organizational skills.  (and I am in a job that DEMANDS TOP EFFICIENCY in organization…).

8.  I get along better with a map than with GPS.  I love technology, but I’d rather have a map.  And yes, I can fold them back correctly the way they were, and in fact demand that this be done.  Do not mis-fold one of my maps.

9.  I love maps.  I can look at maps for hours.  What is so fascinating about a map of Cleveland, Ohio?  I never plan to go to Cleveland, Ohio…never been there.  Don’t care.  Have one friend from there, but he doesn’t live there now.  Why then would I stare at a map of Cleveland for an hour?  Because it’s there….

10.  When I go somewhere (anywhere), I (sometimes briefly, sometimes extensively) will fantasize about living there.  “Would this be someplace I’d like to live?” I’ll ask myself.  I’ll scout potential residences, routes to work (what work?  I don’t have a job there!!!), etc.

11.  I like to go shopping in the rain. 

12.  (This is one I got from Mother).  I will be very gung-ho on something (anything).  Hobbies especially, I’ll be all over it.  I’ll research meticulously, learn everything there is to know about it, become an expert at it, and do it for years.  Then, one day (I have no idea when it’s coming, or why, or what causes it) the switch flips and I am –done-.  I will always retain the knowledge, but I will be through with that thing.

13.  (Goes with 12).  My life is like a series of chapters.  I’m almost a different character in each one.  There is some continuity, but mostly, it’s like I’m playing roles.  The movie, “Torch Song Trilogy” with Harvey Fierstein (fabulous movie, if you haven’t seen it, by all means do) is something like that.  I was in high school, very active in church, etc., them BAM to college and in a fraternity and a different person, then BAM living in Houston and being an adjuster and going to bars and being wild (we will omit part of that story)…and then BAM I lived in Dallas and was a “professional” and worked downtown and did my little Bob Newhart thing, then moved to NYC and did it for real…I had a psychologist one time who was fascinated that I told the times of my life based on where I had lived, he thought that significant.  I don’t know why, doesn’t everybody do it that way?

14.  I had 7 elementary schools in 6 years.

15.  I drink more water than anybody I know.  I’ve always got to have a drink of water going.  I have the red plastic party cups all over my house, half full.  Of water.

16.  Plastic cups—the reason I have them is, I’ve taken so much severe medication for so long now that I no longer have grip strength and my hands shake.  I’ve broken a bunch of glasses this year.  Party cups spill, but they don’t shatter when they hit the ground.

17.  Goes with 16—I used to have beautiful handwriting.  Now I don’t.  I can barely write, and have to have a very thick pen to do so (Schaeffer to the rescue).

18.  I am dyslexic.  I always have been, they just haven’t always had a diagnosis.  Now they recognize this.  Then, they called it “lazy”.  “He’s a good student,” the teacher would tell my concerned parents while I writhed in the chair.  “He gets the theory of the problem just fine; he just messes up the math.  He must just be lazy.”  All would turn to me and ask, “Why are you lazy?”  Well, DUH, did it ever occur to someone that if I continually mess up the math but get the logic fine, maybe there’s a problem with the way my brain perceives numbers?  6’s, 9’s, and 7’s are the worst if they appear together.  I just thought EVERYONE had a lot of trouble dialing phone numbers and balancing a checkbook….

19.  I love dogs—but not all dogs.  Some dogs are mean.  Some are annoying.  Just like people.

20.  I eat lots (lots) of pickled okra.  Ever since I discovered it, I love it.  I eat 2 jars a week (no carbs—better than potato chips).

21.  I do better to watch a movie or a TV series at night than to read a book.  Movies and TV shows END.  When they END, I can turn off the set and go to bed.  Books, however, unless I actually finish them, do NOT end.  I do not have an “off” switch when reading.  I will literally read all night.  If I am going to read at night, I have to set an alarm so I will remember to put the book down and go to bed.

22.  I have broken one little finger, chopped the end off another, and broken 3 toes.  I’m rough on fingers and toes.

23.  When I was young, I watched every episode of Bewitched.  Yes, I laughed at Endora’s and Aunt Clara’s and Aunt Hagatha’s and Serena’s antics.  It’s funny, though, on another level I completely absorbed some things that one might not on a comedy series.  I thought Darren’s job was cool.  He was an Account Executive at McMann and Tate.  He had a cool office and was always juggling difficult accounts.  He worked from home some.  When he got home, he and Sam would have martini’s—frequently, he’d have to “make it a double”.  Sometimes he’d have to “make it a triple”.  They lived in a pretty nice house in the suburbs (albeit with nosy neighbors).  (For that matter, Rob and Laura Petrie also lived in a pretty tony house in a pretty tony suburb).  I always thought, “That’s cool, that’s what I want to be.”  And, well, I’m an Account Executive juggling difficult clients.  I work from home (now all the time).  I have a cocktail every night, and I make a wicked martini.  I live in a nice house in a tony suburb.  The blonde wife thing didn’t work out so well for me—would love to have a blonde husband….

24.  I wanted to live in the city, and did for much of my life.  However, I also had this strange longing for Mayberry.  I’d spend the summers in Arkansas and it was the antithesis of the city; Malvern was just like Mayberry and I always wanted to live there.  I did that.  Now I don’t ever want to live in a small town again.  Mayberry isn’t Mayberry any more.  White = Meth.  Black = Crack.

25.  I love New York.  I love London.  But I’ll probably wind up in Florida.  I hate winter.

26.  I have this thing about palm trees.  I just love them.  I have one in my back yard and love it.  I love going to California and seeing the long rows of palms.  I love that Corona Christmas commercial where there’s a shack on the beach next to an enormous palm tree, and he hits the switch and it lights up with Christmas lights, while someone whistles “Oh Christmas Tree”.

27.  Everybody in the world loves fruit—except me. 

28.  I still want a Rolls-Royce.  Always have.  There, I said it.

29.  I hate Christmas.  One of my goals in life is to be able to afford to take a trip somewhere every year to get away from it. 

30.  I have a huge connection to England.  Not so wild about the American Revolution.  Tea Partiers—stupid then, stupid now.

31.  Her Majesty The Queen rocks.

32.  I can’t stand anything in my ears.  I go nuts when I get water in my ears.  I don’t like Q-tips or anything else getting near them.

33.  I love the smell of old suitcases.  Yes, that musty weird smell.  I love the smell of NEW suitcases, too.

34.  I’m tired of being single, but if I ever do find “the one”, he might have to have his own house.  Not sure I could handle having someone “underfoot” all the time.  I require a lot of privacy.

35.  Despite the fact that I’ve been to a bunch, and love going when I’m with friends, I’ve never been a huge fan of bars.  Hate going alone.  That said, I danced the soles off many a pair of shoes at the Village Station in Dallas.  It had 3 levels and a great light show, huge disco ball (yes indeedy…), and when this one (from the truly execrable movie, Can’t Stop the Music, featuring the Village People, a wooden Bruce Jenner and a –hot?- Steve Guttenberg—in the tightest pair of white pants in history) came on, everybody hit the dance floor, the lights would dazzle, and so would we!  The alternative was to “Cowboy up” at the Round-Up, which, at closing, would turn up the lights to full and play this, and literally everybody in the bar would be on the dance floor, including the bartenders.  Why?  It’s a Dallas thing, you wouldn’t understand….(You really have to watch the second vid, it is too much of a scream—which is why the bar played it and we ALL sang along as we danced—check Johnny Cook, that little queen, and her amazing plastique hair…of course, Vestal Goodman’s hair is nothing short of astonishing…).

36.  I am a complete Disneyholic.  Ok, maybe that’s not so unknown….next up, Disneyland!  Walt Disney World is incredible, off the scale—but I’ll always love Disneyland.  And Walt Disney was a genius.

37.  My favourite colour is purple (and NOT because of the movie, it’s always been my favourite.)  It’s an Aquarian thing, the rest of you wouldn’t understand.  Fellow Aquarians, am I right?

38.  My favourite movie musical is West Side Story.

39.  My favourite comedy is Blazing Saddles.  (Tough one, that, because Animal House and Young Frankenstein are right up there.  Lowbrow, indeed).

40.  My favourite movie of all time is Gone With The Wind (again, tough call; The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Star Wars, and Back to the Future are also right there.  Driving Miss Daisy, too.  If you’ve seen DMD, you’ve met my grandmother and seen my childhood time in Malvern).  Scarlett was an idiot—I’d have taken the Tarleton twins and had done with it.  Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actress, for her brilliant portrayal of “Mammy.”

41.  My favourite Broadway show ever was Evita, with Phantom of the Opera a very close second.  However, I will always have a soft spot for Prelude to a Kiss.  Tim Hutton starred in it; I got to meet him several times; he’s a great guy.

42.  Favourite opera:  Donitzetti’s  Lucia di Lammermoor.  Favourite opera star:  Dame Joan Sutherland.  I got to have dinner with Dame Joan and her husband Richard Bonynge, when she was here in Houston starring in Anna Bolena.  And yes, I love opera. (Ok, the link was to the Sextet, “Chi me frena in tal momento”, and—it’s true—I have to restrain myself from singing along (not well).  This very famous piece of music has inspired many others, notably the quintet from West Side Story, “One Day More” from Les Miserables, and “Masquerade” from Phantom of the Opera, as well as two hilarious Three Stooges send-ups:  Micro-Phonies (Lucia starts at 2:35, with Curly as Lucia) and Squareheads of the Round Table (starts at 3:04, HILARIOUS!).

43.  I’ve met (in person) 4 US Presidents:  Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton.  Not bad, eh?

44.  I lack three US States:  I’ve never been to Alaska, Washington, or Oregon.

45.  At one point (doubtful now?) I could name, from  memory, the capital of each of the US States and Territories.

46.  I also collect baseball parks:  Fenway, Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Veteran’s Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium, Camden Yards, Nationals Park, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field, Busch Stadium (old), Arlington Stadium, The Ballpark at Arlington, The Astrodome, Minute Maid Park, Coors Field, Dodger Stadium, Candlestick Park, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Petco Park.  The rest are still to come.  I’m saving Wrigley for last.  No World Series games yet.  NLCS games, several of them (Astros, Braves).

47.  Not a secret, but I’ve been to every football stadium in the Southeastern Conference (until they added Mizzou; so now I have one more), as well as every football stadium in the old Southwest Conference.

48.  I don’t have a favourite symphony, I like almost all of them. 

49.  I do not like ballet.  At all.

50.  I’ll always love Lucy.  Lucille Ball was brilliant and beautiful.  I named my doggies Lucy and Ethel.  I can do a wicked rendition of “Vitameatavegamin”, and I still hear their version of “California, Here I Come” whenever I think of the song.

Russ's 50 Random Things

Tanner's 50 Random Things

Jim Harrington's Random Things


  1. Interesting. I have all three of the states you've missed (two of them in the last week), although I'm missing 17 of the ones you've hit.

  2. I'm just amazed that you could come up with 50 things. I would have a hard time doing that. As for your three states, you need to fly to Portland, OR, and do a tour of the Wilamette Valley wineries. Then on to Seattle (you have to drive there up the Oregon coast), where you board a cruise ship for Alaska. I one trip, you will complete the list.