18 October 2006

The 100

Sorry, no room for another 4300 :) (little joke for those who have seen The 4400)

As seems commonplace on blogs and other mediums, (I did something similar in my old journal) I have decided to give my many fans (crickets chirping in the distance) a number of things about me that are completely unremarkable but possibly interesting for those that find such things interesting. I have to admit I am a fan of such lists, so I give you such a list. Since 100 or so seems to be the appropriate number, (I suppose I could have waited to my 100th post, but I decided to get this out of the way) here are 100 things you should or should not know about me.

1. I'm left-handed (for the most part)
2. I have horrible handwriting, even when printing. You don't want to see my cursive (I haven't written in cursive in I don't know how long)
3. The first football game I remember is Super Bowl X (Dallas-Pittsburgh, 1976)
4. Reportedly, my third and fourth words were 'Go Cowboys!'.
5. The first movie I remember seeing was 'Star Wars', though I think my parents took me to see both 'The Muppet Movie' and 'Rocky' before that.
6. The first movie that gave me nightmares was 'Alien' (I was 6).
7. My favorite movie of all time is 'The Empire Strikes Back.'
8. My favorite book of all time is 'The Stand' by Stephen King, followed closely by 'The Guns of the South' by Harry Turtledove.
9. My favorite non-fiction book is 'In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made' by Norman F. Cantor
10. Though I love medieval history, I am really unfocused, studying plague history, religious history (both of which do crossover into medieval, true), and military history.
11. I have a minor in Space Science and were I not math-illiterate, I would have gone into the sciences.
12. I love maps (which translated into a Geography minor).
13. I enjoy politics, but never had the stomach to get into it, aside from a term in the Student Senate in college.
14. I have been behind the Iron Curtain, but just barely, mere months before it all collapsed.
15. The best museum I have ever been to is the Hermitage in what was then Leningrad (I've never been to Paris, so I can't say the Louvre, regardless of reputation).
16. I have never been to Western Europe (unless you count 2 days in Finland to wind up my trip to Eastern Europe).
17. I have traveled to and/or through every state in the contiguous USA except Kentucky and Maine.
18. Though there was a great deal of anti-American sentiment the second time I was there, a part of my heart will always belong in Australia.
19. My ideal retirement spot is a stretch of coastline in South-West Australia.
20. I have spent almost three consecutive days on a train. (the India-Pacific between Sydney and Perth)
21. I have had my car searched for drugs at a Canadian border crossing (they thought I was smuggling pot from Mexico because of my Texas plates).
22. I have difficulty with the smell of tobacco (maybe a mild allergy perhaps).
23. I've lived in my car.
24. I waited tables for almost 2 years.
25. I have a fondness for theater, having acted, directed, produced and pretty much did everything at one point except costume design.
26. Before I sold anime stuff, I helped my family sell sports cards.
27. I was married for about 5 years once.
28. I've now been divorced for about 5 years.
29. I prefer the term 'certified pre-owned'. Sounds more official.
30. I taught myself to read at age 3 (thank you Sesame Street)
31. I didn't write my first short story or poem until I was 17.
32. I won an award (the National Association of Children's Bookwriters or something like that) for my first short story... which looking back, wasn't all that good.
33. I am my worst critic, as most writers are.
34. I don't like to use the word 'believe' or 'belief'. To me it is the first step to fanaticism. I would rather use the word 'think' or 'thought'.
35. I grew up Independent Baptist (hence my views on 'belief').
36. My favorite television show is still 'Babylon 5'.
37. Growing up, my favorite show was 'Star Trek', old and TNG.
38. I love roleplaying games and used to game constantly.
39. My favorite song of all time is 'Piano Man' by Billy Joel.
40. My second favorite song is 'Blue Eyes' by Elton John.
41. I have seen them both in concert separately and together.
42. I wish I could have seen Johnny Cash in concert.
43. My favorite concert is easily Billy Joel/Elton John (at Texas Stadium, April 1995).
44. My favorite musical/play is 'Phantom of the Opera'.
45. I love quotations.
46. I grew up a giant comic fan, and still read them now and then.
47. My favorite comic story is 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller.
48. I still prefer Superman over Batman, but only slightly.
49. My favorite roleplaying game is 'Star Wars' (shocking, I know)
50. I have been roleplaying (though mostly game mastering) for almost 20 years now. 2007 will mark my 20th year.
51. My favorite non-Star Wars/Lord of the Rings movie is 'Almost Famous' (I prefer the Director's cut called 'Untitled'.
52. My favorite album (what not a favorite MP3 playlist?... what is this word, album?) is 'American IV: The Man Comes Around' by Johnny Cash.
53. I am both a cat and dog person.
54. I have owned more cats and dogs than I can count.
55. Cats, even strays, like to hang around me.
56. I am considered depressed, but not bi-polar.
57. I have a large number of siblings, and the oldest.
58. I lead a very parenthetical life (really, it's true).
59. I used to fence, preferring foil and sabre over epee.
60. If I had a philosophy, I think it would be deistic multi-dimensional reincarnationist. It worked from the Minbari (from 'Babylon 5'), though deism is more 18th century Enlightenment than late 20th century science fiction.
61. I understand the difference between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith.
62. While I feel we soften words too much and argue about semantics, I am still far too diplomatic for my own good.
63. That being said, I have found it hard to be diplomatic when it counted most.
64. If I could drop everything and go 'Out There' (out there being space and beyond), I would.
65. While I prefer the Jedi Code, the Sith dress better (and I prefer darker colors myself).
66. I wear sandals whenever I can, meaning I've worn socks twice in the past 2 calendar years (which you can do in Texas, even in winter).
67. The last time I wore tennis shoes regularly was on my last trip to Australia. Unless you are on a beach, it is really, really hard to hike in sandals.
68. I hate wearing blue jeans... shorts and slacks (usually khakis) for me.
69. Even though I love Australia and grew up in the D/FW area, I despise the heat.
70. I much prefer the cold, even if it means I might have to put on socks.
71. My eyes sometimes change color, but they are mostly blue (usually a light blue, but sometimes dark, sometimes a dark green, occasionally gray).
72. I lettered in varsity basketball in high school.
73. I have had three excruciating surgeries, two of them neurosurgeries.
74. The first neurosurgery saved my life. The second replaced the right half of my forehead with plastic (this happened over 20 years ago, when I was 10).
75. Because of said surgeries, I have failed three military physicals, the only thing that ever kept me from serving my country (though it was a near thing the last time).
76. It also kept me from playing football.
77. 'The Imperial March' is one of the great instrumental themes of all time.
78. I have had season tickets twice to the Cowboys and three times to the Rangers, all in years they stunk.
79. And I gave up my seats the day Nolan Ryan pitched his last no-hitter so my brother could go to the game.
80. No matter how many times I hear it, the words, 'No Luke, I am your father', still sends chills up my spine.
81. I prefer the Bob Seger version of 'Turn the Page' over Metallica's version.
82. I agree with Dilbert in that when something like the Holodeck is available, civilization as we know it will end (if it doesn't before then).
83. Perhaps the best poem I've ever written is my least favorite to read... a piece I wrote on the 5th anniversary of my eldest brother's death.
84. I still have trouble talking to my Mom and my sisters about it, mostly for their sake.
85. I always wanted to be on 'Jeopardy'.
86. Though I love writing, I am not a very disciplined writer. Perhaps that is why I write so much poetry.
87. I have serious trouble rhyming.
88. While I love music, I cannot sing, except as part of a choral group.
89. My favorite comic strip was the always funny 'Bloom County'.
90. It's the one with Opus the Penguin.
91. While I enjoy the history of languages, I cannot, for the life of me, learn them. I am better at reading them, and even that is marginal.
92. I prefer a nice cabernet over white, perhaps a bottle of rose instead, but only at Italian restaurants :)
93. I love westerns and war movies, and most any historical movie. I tend to see them regardless of reviews.
94. My favorite westerns are 'Dances With Wolves' and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales'.
95. My favorite war films are 'Glory' and 'We Were Soldiers', though the first half of 'Full Metal Jacket' is phenomenal.
96. Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov were two of my big influences growing up, though my dad tried to steer me to Jack Vance.
97. Most days, I would rather have a nice conversation.
98. My mom always told me I could always 'catch more flies with honey than vinegar'.
99. Even if it annoys them, I always hold the door open for women (assuming I get to it in time). Simply the way I was raised.
100. I can't be anything more than I am at this moment, even if I do look to the future too much.

Well, this should cover it. Anything else I will probably get to eventually, or just ask. I might even give an answer that makes sense. :)



Jessie! said...

Super hugs! I'm here to read your blog! Oooo! I didn't know some of these things about you, I did know a few though. Anyway I have to go as I am currently writing an e-mail to you that needs to be finished!

jedimerc said...

No worries and thanks for stopping by. Heck, I didn't know some of these things about me. I think my computer just posted some stuff that sounded more interesting than the truth, lol...

Becky said...

I think that we were at the same Billy Joel/Elton John concert in April 1995:)

I love Phantom, too. I've seen it twice on Broadway.

I'm sorry to read about your brother and the surgeries you had to go through.

jedimerc said...

The surgeries were a long, long time ago. The only reason I think about them is because every time I comb my hair, the surgery scar is still slightly visible... most people don't notice it, or are too polite to say so. And things have been much better in recent years regarding my brother... time doesn't heal the wounds, but does ease it some.

I never saw Phantom on Broadway, but saw it in Dallas and in LA... such a great show. I'd like to see it again live since it still tours, and see how the show has changed.

That concert was indeed awesome, especially since it was like 2 shows in one (I think it was almost 4 hours long since they both did their own sets plus two duet segments as well).

Amber said...

You and my dad would get along great. He LOVES Star Trek, both the old and TNG - he even has black and white drawings of the characters. Personally, it's not really for me, but hey.. whatever floats your boat, ya know? Life is too short.

I lost a brother as well, except he was my younger brother by a year and a half. He was 18. I'm so sorry for your loss... I understand the pain. And yet, even having gone through it/still going through it, I can't come up with anything better than "I'm sorry." It seems so trite and can't possibly express the sorrow or grief you feel at hearing of one's loss; especially since you know, more or less, what they're going through. Hopefully, you understand the sentiment behind it...

You are a very smart man and I am positively green with envy at the degrees you have! Very impressive. However, you are definitely a writer. Words... they have so much power, don't they? I'm glad to see you choose them well.

I guess that is all for now...

I really enjoyed your 100 Things!

PS: I got the joke about The 4400.

jedimerc said...

Yay, someone got my cheesy sci fi joke :)

Thanks for dropping by and bearing with my 100 things... and I understand regarding loss, sometimes the best you can do is say I understand and 'I'm sorry'. Moving on is always an internal struggle.

Words do have power, absolutely... I suppose I choose them better when writing because I can think about it before hand :)