Tuesday, July 10, 2007

8 Random Things About Me!

Tapped! Tapped, I say. Monsieur Toybox has tapped me to participate in the vaunted exercise of stating 8 Random Things About Me. Really, what’s to be said that hasn’t already been put out there? In the spirit of the blog, I shall give it a whirl.

1. I’ve been blessed by the Pope himself. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1994. An arrogant college junior struts into the Papal audience chamber with no aspirations other than to get his next bottle of wine. He, along with his cohorts, sings a song, and Il Papa is impressed. They are invited up to the stage/altar. The human being who sits next to God at the poker table passes his holy appendages over the group. A choir of angels, beams of sunshine, and then, enlightenment. But no free drinks.

2. I have survived the Bermuda Triangle. Aye, mateys, I set sail in the legendary waters last month. ‘Twas a nightmarish gale, but did we falter? Never. The sails were hoisted and we set out into the unknown. Lashing ourselves to the mast, we saw creatures of lore – serpents, sirens, the Kraken. But enough of that. It is a tale best left to be told over drinks.

3. In high school, I went to Boy’s State and won an award. I was a state senator. I almost got kicked out for launching five dozen paper airplanes out of my fourth floor dorm window. I wrote my own prayer for the last group meeting which I think is what won me the award. I never found out what it was for. I also wrote and sponsored a bill that was the crowning achievement of our tenure. The entire group literally broke into instantaneous and overpowering applause. The kid who was elected Governor was addressing us all. “And lastly, we approved the Sex Education Improvement Bill.”

4. I have walked on all seven continents. Antarctica was the last, and it was purely by dumb luck. I signed up for a project in college, not knowing exactly what the requirements were. The next thing I knew, I was being fitted for an extreme weather suit. What I had thought was a simple course on weather systems turned out to be a seven week in-depth study of the effects of ocean eddies on the Antarctic coastline.

5. I have been interrogated by the FBI. A group of kids in my high school found themselves in wayyyyyy over their heads with, shall we say, people that you don’t want to find yourselves even knowing, let alone doing business with. When someone found their dog strung up on the garage door and their car on fire, the Feds stepped in. Everyone in the entire school was questioned. No kids were arrested and nothing made the papers. The general opinion was they “cooperated” in order to save their hides.

6. I can now speak passable Mandarin Chinese. There is such a growing population of Asians in the area, I figured it would be a good idea if I tried to learn the language. Next year, the local high-school is going to offer courses in it. Thanks to some great free Podcasts, I was just a little ahead of the curve. Don’t ask me to read it, though.

7. I am descended from royalty. Last autumn, my great uncle decided to try to finish tracing our family lineage. Over the last ten years, he has made it his part time hobby to search out all of our family ancestors. He hit a snag somewhere back around 1760, and put it aside for a year or so. I don’t know the entire story yet, but apparently, the snag he hit were documents sealed by the English crown. After petitioning for like the tenth time, he was granted limited access. Let me introduce you to the 4th Earl of Norwich’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great nephew. Of course, the title is now extinct, and I don’t even get a free drink out of it.

8. I hold two patents. Neither of them makes me any money, but it’s cool to be able to say it. One is for a simple hook assembly for model trains. I came up with the idea when I was 12. My grandmother encouraged me to write it down and apply. She paid the legal fees, and a couple years later, bingo! The other is a design for a clip/instrument holder for hard hats. This one I’m trying to get a couple of companies to buy the manufacturing rights for, so I can’t really talk any more about it now. Fingers crossed. If it works out, then I’ll buy the drinks!

So here’s my eight random things. I hope you enjoyed reading all about me, cuz, you know, it really is.