Friday, Dec. 31, 2004

100 Things, posted at 10:08 a.m.

Epiphany in Baltimore has moved to

1. I am right-handed.

2. I have never really met anyone famous, or at least more famous than Melissa Ferrick or Wally Pleasant.

3. I once had a letter published in TV Guide. I was in high school and it was in response to Chris Nothís comment that Law & Order was better than Picket Fences. I disagreed.

4. I love poring over baseball statistics.

5. I am a member of the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Baseball Coaches Association.

6. I havenít been to the dentist since I moved to Baltimore in summer 2001.

7. When I was young, I had a leg disease called Leg Perthes. I was on crutches and in traction for a year when I was in kindergarten. They now think it might have been a misdiagnosis because I just sort of healed when I was about to get a hip replacement.

8. I had 20 years straight of good health after that, when in November of 2003 I found myself having emergency surgery on my retinas. Both of them, one of them in November and one in December. It sucked. But Iím recovered now, with most of my eyesight intact.

9. I was a Resident Assistant for three years in college. I was an ĎAcademic and Social Activities Coordinatorí another year, and then an Assistant Hall Director when I was in graduate school.

10. I consider myself a very open minded person.

11. But I do have my prejudices, and theyíre odd ones. I will offer them now. Know that theyíre true, but Iím presenting them a little tongue-in-cheek.

12. One is allergies. I feel like people should just toughen up. Come on now.

13. The other is people who take their coffee with cream and/or sugar. Toughen up now. Thereís no reason for that. I call you a wimp under my breath at my restaurant.

14. This from the man who needs ice cubes with his coffee.

15. I love flossing my teeth.

16. I still remember the first time I had Thai food. I loved it so much that pad thai is still my favorite food. By the way, it was Dec. 31, 2000.

17. I really hoped that the computer problems people were discussing would happen on 1/1/2000 would have erased my colossal debts at the time.

18. I subscribe to Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, Menís Health, Menís Fitness, and Blender.

19. I bought all of those magazine subscriptions for really cheap from E-Bay.

20. I have three Ikea rugs in my house.

21. I listen to each of the following stations equally in my car: WYPR (our NPR station), WERQ (92Q: Banging BMore wit da most hip-hop and R&B), and WTMD (Towsonís college station).

22. Non-family and friends things I miss about Michigan: Ten cent deposit on cans, Meijer, Detroit Tigers, the beach, liquor stores open on Sundays, grocery stores that sell alcohol, and the 70 speed limit.

23. Things I donít miss: the long winters, the urban sprawl of Detroit, the conservatism of the west side, Tim Hortonís, and how everything is just so darn far away.

24. My students tell me that Iíve got a little bit of soul. This just means that I like black music. And I do.

25. Besides hip-hop and soul, I also really like the whole singer/songwriter/folk genre.

26. I love mid-nineties rock as well, but havenít liked any new radio rock for quite a few years, with the exception of a random Coldplay song.

27. Iíve only been on an airplane twice in my life. The first time was when I was 19, the second time last summer at 25.

28. I was a strict vegetarian from 1996-2002. I began eating fish and seafood on occasion in the summer of 2002.

29. I started eating fish and seafood basically for health reasons. My reasons for being a vegetarian have changed from being mostly ethical to mostly health.

30. Funniest standup comedians are Margaret Cho, Bob Newhart, Chris Rock, George Wallace, and Ellen DeGeneres.

31. I can rarely, if ever, sleep in a moving vehicle. Sometimes when my dad or my grandpa are driving, I can. Otherwise, I just canít. Bill was amazed at my inability to sleep in the trains in Europe.

32. Except, of course, when I was really drunk.

33. I can, however, read while moving. I donít understand why people canít. I even often read while walking.

34. I graduated #3 in my class in high school.

35. I was a horrible college student, though. I wish I could relive those years a bit.

36. I think Radiohead topped out at The Bends.

37. The best compliment a student can give me is complete and undivided attention. A kid like this comes along once every two years or so Ė someone who is interested in everything you say beyond belief.

38. This same kid paid me another high compliment after report cards came back. He returned, showed me his new tattoo, and told me his mom let him get it because of the grade he received in my class.

39. I donít balance my checkbook. I just make sure the moneyís there before I write a check. I probably should, though. I bounce about one check a year, mostly because itís not deposited right away.

40. Scariest movie I ever saw was The Blair Witch Project. Yes, I knew it was fake, but I also thought it was a pretty amazing piece of filmmaking; everything that was scary was in your mind. Iíve never seen it again since my time in the movie theater with it; I want it to remain in my mind as it is.

41. The thought of making out with a girl in a big somewhat desolated museum really turns me on.

42. I was kicked out of the Spy Club on the night of the Lighting of the Monument in 2002 after I threw up all over myself in the bathroom. I went home in the cold December air in an A-shirt.

43. Thatís the only time Iíve ever been kicked out of a bar.

44. Iíve had my heart broken.

45. I wish my school had teacher assistants, because being a teacher assistant for my English teacher in high school made me want to become an English teacher. Plus, I could really use some help keeping my room clean and grading some papers.

46. I was a much better teacher during my second year of teaching than I was during my first year of teaching.

47. I was a much better teacher during my second year of teaching than I was during my third year of teaching, too.

48. Hearing Alice Walker speak and briefly meeting her was one of the most influential moments of my life.

49. I remember where I was when Cecil Fielder hit his 50th and 51st homeruns. I was in my basement, listening to Ernie Harwell call the game. I ran upstairs and banged my head on the ceiling I was so excited.

50. I was once on the cover of the Baltimore Sun. It was a big blown up picture of me holding up a ďPlease Donít Strike; Itís Ernieís last yearĒ poster at an Orioles game.

51. First time drunk was when I was 19. It was also the first time Iíd had alcohol. The date was Nov. 3, 1996. We had Jack Daniels and whiskey, and planned it for a few weeks before hands, calling it ďOperation Chicken Butt.Ē It was my first time drinking, as well as a friend of mineís.

52. I spent a lot of my early years of college drinking stuff like vodka and Kool-Aid. I didnít like beer until I was legal. I was 23, I think, and it was after an English teacher student softball game.

53. First time having sex was the second time drunk. I was 19. Thanksgiving Weekend, my parentsí couch. I have not seen the girl since then, but Iíll probably see her this summer at my ten-year high school reunion.

54. The last three roommates I have had have screwed me over a little when theyíve left. But theyíve also left nice pieces of furniture, so I cannot complain too much.

55. I booked for a 500-seat venue in college. Heck, I created the venue. I booked Sponge, Melissa Ferrick, and Maggie Estep, among others. I wanted to book Fat Amy, which had Bob the Bachelor in it, but they outpriced themselves.

56. My favorite movie for a long time was Heathers. Now, itís Magnolia.

57. I like Splenda and hope it doesnít cause cancer.

58. Iím pretty close with my maternal grandparents. Theyíre great people, still acting very young even though I think they must be in their eighties.

59. My paternal grandfather died when I was 12. Heís still the only family member who has died in my family. Iíve only been to a couple of funerals, and thatís one of them.

60. My paternal grandmother has Alzheimerís really bad and does not recognize anyone anymore, partly because they keep her heavily drugged up because sheís a ďproblem case.Ē

61. She was born in 1926, so sheís not even 80 yet, and my grandpa died at 79, so my paternal side has weaker old age genetics than my maternal side. But the maternal side gets cancer a lot.

62. I would like to live to be 100.

63. Itís looking like Iíll need that long to get married, anyway.

64. My paternal grandparents met after the war. My grandpa was a 36-year old freed German Polish concentration camp POW and my grandma was a 21-year old war widow. They immigrated to Michigan in 1949 and were married for 42 years until my grandpa passed away. He worked as a barber all of those 42 years and grandma worked in a department store in between raising three boys, one of whom is my father.

65. My grandpa once won the $10,000 lottery using his concentration camp ID number as the five digits for the lotto card.

66. I wet the bed until I was ten or so.

67. I think part of that was because of the leg disease I discuss in #7. I didnít learn to get up because I couldnít.

68. Iím a liberal, unabashed.

69. After education, my biggest ďcauseĒ is the death penalty. I just find it incomprehensible that our government kills people. I see no argument for it except making victimsí families feel better. Itís not a deterrent, itís costly, itís the easy way out. I always try to read arguments about it, though.

70. Iím also pretty into the gay marriage cause. I got in a huge fight with my sister after she made the ďwell, if they can marry each other, what prevents them from marrying their dog?Ē argument.

71. My house is always a complete mess except when I have house concerts.

72. My house concerts are cool. You should come to one.

73. Iíve been hosting house concerts for three years now. My biggest name is in January, when Patti Rothberg, who played Leno and Letterman, plays.

74. I once worked in a paper cup factory. It was terrible and I got through it by singing Harry Chapin songs to myself.

75. I once woke up late and didnít go in because I knew I would have a mountain of cups at my machine. It was the first time Iíve ever quit a job without telling the people first. I hated it.

76. Iíd really like if Picket Fences were released on DVD.

77. When I was in high school, I did a local campaign in which I put up ďSave this ShowĒ fliers about My So-Called Life.

78. I was pretty much Brian Krakow in high school.

79. I used to watch so much TV, but now my TV goes on just a few times a month, mostly as backdrop.

80. I lost 110 pounds and then gained 18 of it back and that 18 is the bane of my existence right now.

81. I appropriate those 18 pounds to the following: lots of beer, lots of pierogies at my second job, and lack of consistent everyday workouts.

82. As soon as I get those 18 (+7 more) off, I will get a Detroit Tigers tattoo. Against the objections of most of my readers.

83. I named my dog Holden after Holden Caulfield. Yes, I love that book.

84. Other favorite books include The Color Purple, Giovanniís Room, A Farewell to Arms, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Sportswriter.

85. I used to have a bunch of stickers on my car. Now, I only have the standard school stickers and leave a place for one political candidate stickers. First, it was Wesley Clark. Now, itís ďAnother Teacher for Kerry.Ē I think Iíll have to change that one soon.

86. Iím currently on my fourth car. My first car was a 1988 Chevy Celebrity, (I canít remember my second! And itís driving me crazy!), my third was a 1993 Plymouth Acclaim, and my current is a 2000 Grand Am.

87. Iíll probably always buy American cars only.

88. I bought the Grand Am, which is electric blue, after I had a dream about it the previous night.

89. That dream is costing me a lot of damn money.

90. I have no air bags in my car because they both engaged and I had the wrong insurance on my car. So I cut them out and now also donít have a horn.

91. Iíve spent eleven years of driving and have never received a moving violation.

92. Twice, though, I would have gotten one if my dad wasnít a state police officer in Michigan.

93. My favorite Baltimore bar is Thirsty Dog Pub. My second is Brewerís Art.

94. I really want kids.

95. Iím good at meeting people, but not very good at moving a friendship beyond the surface. Sometimes, I just donít know what to talk about.

96. I suck when Iím within large groups of people and prefer smaller groups.

97. I couldnít date anyone quiet; I need a motormouth girl who will talk my head off. But she canít be stupid. She has to be smart and funny.

98. I wish this girl lived in Baltimore. She fits that bill. Plus sheís a girl with guitar and thatís another turnon.

99. My first two college roommates are still two of my best friends. Iím also still good friends with some RAs I worked with Ė Gale and Erin.

100. Iím a complete Detroit Tigers dork. My most frequent visited website is the Detroit Tigers forum.