This actually started as a chain email in which I was supposed to write a list of 25 things that the people who know me may or may not know about me. I upped it to 30, possibly out of egotism, and then decided to post it here on my blog, also possibly out of egotism. I was going to say it might be out of narcissism, but then I learned that "narcissism" has a sexual connotation.
Here are 30 tidbits of trivia about me:
1. I once chased a sheep through the woods with a lasso.
2. I once touched an electric cow fence with a pair of metal pocket knife scissors while trying to cut my brother free of some barbed wire. I woke up on my back ten feet away.
3. I was due to be born on Christmas Eve, 1981, but was delivered by cesarean section on January 6, 1982.
4. My friend and I were once chased down the interstate by a man in a semi.
5. I've been bitten by dogs, cats, birds, a snake, a turtle, and multiple kinds of rodents including a wild squirrel.
6. Speaking of dog bites, I've been bitten in the hands and feet (too many times to keep track), once under the arm, and once directly in the face--the gum, lip, and nose.
7. I have a few scars: one on my lower lip from a high chair accident when I was two, one on my hairline from splitting it open when I was seven, one under my left knee from flipping over on a high-speed ride down a cement chute at Action Park in New Jersey (that park is now closed due to too many safety infractions), one between my right thumb and forefinger from slipping on a wet garage floor and stabbing myself, one under my right arm from being bitten by my dog while I was sleeping, one on my right shoulder from being bitten by a squirrel, and one on my right hand from surgery for a broken knuckle during my senior year of high school. I'm sure there are more, but who can keep track of these things?
8. I had cosmetic surgery on my ears when I was young--so I'm sure there is also some scarring there, but I can't really see back there too well.
9. I've been in 37 of the 50 states, so far. I grew up in New Jersey and New York. I've lived/worked in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and South Dakota. Altogether, I've traveled through Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico (with at least one foot), North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin; and I've done more extensive traveling in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming.
(Just to brag: In 2005 alone, I traveled for business through Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and, for pleasure, through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, and back through Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.)
10. I've also been out of the United States six times and have been in seven other countries: three times to Belize, once to Europe on a WWII history tour (England, France, Luxembourg, Belgium), once to Germany, and once to Canada when I was very young.
11. I avoided an armed robbery when gunmen entered the Domino's Pizza where I was working about an hour after my shift ended. This was a job in which delivery persons occasionally got beaten and mugged, but the most violent thing that happened to me was having my car pelted with rocks.
12. I once took a really, really bad road into the Colorado mountains looking for a place to camp. When the road abruptly ended and the rocks made it nearly impossible to turn around, I was seriously considering the possibility that I would have to have the car air-lifted. I made it out a couple of hours later. I camped in Rocky Mountain National Park instead.
13. I have personally punched three different people in the face, on purpose anyway.
14. I was once chewed out by my drunken landlord in front of a large crowd of people. That was after I complained about being chewed up by the bedbugs living in the apartment he rented me.
15. I've had work published in six different publications, so far, including being the movie critic for the Rockland County Times out of Nanuet, NY, for a period of about ten months.
16. I love climbing trees. I've only ever fallen twice. The first time I was inches from being impaled on a sharp stick. The second time I never hit the ground because my coat got caught on a sawed-off branch (which also almost eviscerated me). The highest I ever climbed was probably in a tree in Belize, where I also climbed coconut trees and picked my own coconuts.
17. I could probably choke you with my toes. But I won't because I like you. Those who have seen my naked feet will verify.
18. Perhaps the worst thing I've ever done to fellow human being was ramming a plastic sword down my brother's throat (unintentionally).
19. I've seen about 2000 movies. My favorite is Raiders of the Lost Ark, though Casablanca is a close second.
20. My all-time favorite band is the Moody Blues--mainly their 1967-1972 period in which they produced seven amazing albums: Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children's Children's Children, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, and Seventh Sojourn. I have seen them in concert four times.
21. I was once on a rollercoaster that got stuck as an electrical storm was rolling in.
22. I have personally had to bury a total of 12 of my pets: my hamster Snoopy, my other hamster Fuzz (I had a third named Hoppy that was put to sleep for a tumor), my guinea pigs Chloe and Pookie, my gerbils Harry and Tripod (who had three legs), my silky mouse Charlotte (who believe it or not was one of the best pets ever), my chinchilla Skippy, my cockatiel Duke (who was actually more my mom's, but I had to bury him on Christmas morning), a baby mouse I tried to nurse to health, my kitten Paw-Paw whom I found in the woods and tried to nurse back to health (and who died more or less in my hands), and last but not at all least my beloved dog Muffin, who was hit by a car (for the second time in her life) on Thanksgiving Eve 2006. I also buried a monitor lizard, but it was dead when I found it.
23. I have sung solo in front of a large crowd of people twice in my life.
24. I spent a week at the World Trade Center in 1998. It's a strange thing to know that a hotel you stayed in was utterly destroyed in a terrorist attack. It's a strange feeling to remember being on top of those towers.
25. I've randomly crossed paths with Stephen Baldwin (a few times), Benicio Del Toro, Val Kilmer (I'm pretty sure), Rosie O'Donnell, Chris Rock, Donald Trump, and possibly Francis Ford Coppola. (Not all at once, though.)
26. I've been in three wedding parties and have served as the official videographer at two others. This coming June will mark my fourth wedding party and my third as best man.
27. I will swear under oath to having witnessed ghostly, demonic, and angelic activity, and, on more than one occasion, multiple UFOs.
28. I love Cocoa Pebbles cereal.
29. I could probably spend a couple of hours quoting Mystery Science Theater 3000--I am that big of a geek (for the best TV show ever created!).
30. I am allergic to sesame and on two occasions have had to be taken to the emergency room due to anaphylactic shock brought on by food allergies--once in my college town of Nyack, NY, and once on a trip about halfway to Ohio in a place called Jersey Shore, PA.
There you go. Now you know 30 potentially interesting things about me. Just in case it ever comes up on Jeopardy.