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Meme if I must…

By Brian | November 23, 2008 | Share on Facebook

Well, I filled out the first “all about me” meme, so I might as well do this one too (I’m all about the completeness thing, ya know…) Kudos (or blame) go to Ilya and Jason

Two sections. The first is “Bold the things you’ve done and talk about ‘em.” Before we start, can I just say – 25 out of 34? I never score that high on these things…

Gone on a blind date.
I’m going with yes on this, although it wasn’t truly a blind date in the “never met her before” sense. High school bowling league. I was on a team of three guys, and there was a team of three girls. At some point, someone suggested I take out one of the girls. I remember driving to her house, getting stuck in the snow, then spending a rather boring evening sitting in her parents living room and talking, until we realized that outside of a bowling alley, we really had very little in common. I also remember that her parents house was filled with (representations of) ducks – duck telephone, paintings of ducks, wooden ducks on shelves, etc.. Isn’t there anything that my brain could be doing instead of remembering this stuff? Ugh…

Skipped school.
Senior year of high school, particularly after getting into college (i.e., second half of the year), my friends and I would take what we called “mental health days.” Rebels that we were, though, we got permission from our parents first, and then did something fairly tame with the day – trip to the beach, to the mall, etc. I was not a wild child…

Watched someone die.
Again, I’m going with yes, although it’s probably a qualified yes. My maternal grandfather was in a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s disease for quite some time. We got a call one day to rush over there – he was near the end. I have a clear memory of seeing him in bed, clearly suffering, kissing him on the forehead and then leaving. The next day, I called my mother to find out how he was doing, and she said she had just hung up with someone (my aunt?) telling her he had died. If that’s not watching someone die, it’s as close as I hope I ever get…

Been to Canada.
Montreal with a camp trip years ago. They taught us how to say “I don’t speak French” in French, in case we ran into a non-English speaker.  I remember asking if it wouldn’t be pretty obvious that we didn’t speak French when we spoke to people in English. I was such a pain in the neck to those counselors. Warms my heart… ;-)

Been to Mexico.
Cancun on Spring Break, junior year of college. Technically Mexico, although 90% of the town was from America, given it was Spring Break and all…

Been to Florida.
Numerous times. As a kid, Grandma and Grandpa lived there. We’d visit them, go to Yankees’ Spring Training camp (back when you could just walk in), stop in Orlando, stay in a nice hotel, etc.. As an adult with small children, I’ve been there four times in the past four years, all to visit The Mouse.

Been to Africa.
Again, I’m getting technical, but Israel is on the African continent, right? Scholars have argued (believe me, I know – I’ve met some of them). Anyway, if you believe Israel is European, then scratch this from my list.

Been on a plane.
Dozens and dozens of times. Often for fun, sometimes for work. The modern world is such that this no longer belongs on lists like these, IMHO…

Been lost.
Constantly. I do OK with sense of direction when I’m by myself and I can allow for the occasional misstep and correction. As soon as I get with a group, though, I’m often told to shut up and follow someone else. Probably for the best, I think…

Gone to Washington, DC.
Again, many times. We’ve had various friends living in the DC area over the years, and we’ve gone on our own to visit occasionally. Monuments, museums, and malls – oh, my!

Swam in the ocean.
You can’t go to summer camp in New Jersey and not eventually wind up swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve seen the Pacific Ocean several times, but can’t recall swimming in it. I did swim in the Dead Sea, but that’s not technically an ocean…

Broken a bone.
Hairline elbow fracture (age ~10), fourth toe on my right foot (age ~35, went through a doorway too quickly and missed the opening).

Been in a traffic accident.
A couple of fender benders. Nothing serious, and in every case, in stop & go traffic, not at full speed.

Cried yourself to sleep.
As a kid/teenager, yes. As an adult? If I’m that upset, I tend to stay up and distract my brain with things like blogging, e-mail, TV, music, etc..

Been on TV
Several times, in fact. Usually a bit piece on a TV interview, and of course, whenever a sporting event is covered by some cable channel and the marching band I’m in is used for background shots, etc.. I spoke to a reporter about the first World Trade Center bombing back in 1993, and then got recognized on the elevator at work the next day (hey, you’re the guy I saw on TV last night). That was weird…

Stole traffic signs.
Once. For two of my four years at the University of Pennsylvania, the Walnut Street bridge was under construction. Several street signs had been taken down for the construction and left in a pile (not tied down, mind you). We took one or two back to campus. I mean heck, when they make it that easy…

Played cops and robbers.
I may have, of course, but I have no clear memory of doing so, so I’ll make this my first official “No” on the list.

Recently colored with crayons.
I’ve got two kids – ages 8 and 6. Every time I go to a restaurant, I color something with crayons.

Sang Karaoke.
Very rarely, but yes, I’ve done this. Most notably in Seoul, South Korea, where Karaoke runs on a TV showing pornography behind the lyrics. Interesting country, South Korea…

Paid for a meal with coins only.
I was toying with the idea of saying yes here because the occasional lunch at work comes from a vending machine, but that would be a little far afield from the spirit of the question, I think. I’ll go with no again…

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
Eat too many desserts? Stay up late blogging when I need a good night’s sleep? Ignore household projects I promised someone I’d get to right away? And that’s just tonight!

Made prank phone calls.
This was a fad briefly in junior high school, but I honestly don’t remember participating on the “caller” side.

Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere.
No. Laughed until I was coughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath, yes. But beverages and I have an understanding – mouth only…

Caught a snowflake on your tongue.
Walk through Manhattan to an office building during a snowstorm and try to avoid getting snow on your tongue. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Danced in the rain.
No. If it’s raining, I’m not dancing, I’m running for cover.

Written a letter to Santa Claus.
Santa’s not a big Hanukkah fan, so no.

Been kissed under the mistletoe.
Same problem – not my “Book,” as they say…

Watched the sunrise with someone.
Least romantic “yes” answer to this question: Hawaii. Haleakala Crater. With my parents and my sister, on our last family vacation before I went off to college. We got up at 3AM, drove up a winding mountain road in a rental car that really wasn’t built for such things, and then waited a couple of hours in a tiny observatory to see the sun come over the horizon defined by the crater’s rim. One woman fainted due to the altitude, and her husband had to take her away. Up at 3AM and didn’t even get to see the sunrise – poor chap. Others took pictures of the sun with their flash cameras. Flashes work from 5-10 feet, folks. The sun’s a little further away! Anyway, by the time we finished this little excursion, it was only 6AM, and we were all exhausted. Later, I found out that friends of mine did this on their honeymoon, but went up there to see the sun set. Much more practical – sunset happens at a much more convenient time of day. When I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon, I convinced my bride that she wasn’t missing anything, and we skipped it entirely. Yay, me…

Blown bubbles.
Kids, ages 8 and 6. ’nuff said?

Gone ice-skating.
Pines Hotel, Catskills, NY. My sister and I went ice skating, because it was one of the available activities. Another young girl (Keiko, I believe – why the @&%*#! do I remember this stuff?) taught us to skate. Since then, I’ve been on the ice in Rockefeller Center, Wollman Rink, and various NJ ice skating rinks. I can motor around in a circle and avoid falling down, but that’s about it.

Been skinny dipping outdoors.
No. I firmly believe that only skinny people should participate in activities with “skinny” in the title. Even if I got in shape, though, the bathing suit isn’t that uncomfortable…

Gone to the movies.
What is this, 1920? Again, too ubiquitous to be on a list like this, IMHO…

Have a nickname.
Ah, yes – well….that. I’ll tell this as quickly and as painlessly as I can. Summer, mid-80s. I’m a waiter in a sleep-away camp. On the first day, in a crowded dining room, I told the counselor at my table that my name was Brian. He thought I said “Myron.” He also happened to be one of those class-clown type counselors that everyone loves and who gets a laugh with everything he says. So, for eight weeks, the entire camp called me Myron. It got so that I stopped noticing the difference, until Parents’ Visiting Day, when my parents were surprised that people were referring to me by a different name, and that I was answering. Man, I’m glad that’s over and done with…

Body piercings.
No way. I’m not thrilled with needles that are attached to syringes of life-saving vaccines. I tolerate them, but I’m thrilled with them. If I want a picture on my skin, I’ll go back to the crayons question, thank you very much…


Section Two – the survey:

Favorite drink? Alcoholic: Gin and Tonic. Specifically, Bombay Sapphire and Tonic if they’ve got it. non-alcoholic: Coke Zero. Tastes like regular coke (I hate the taste of diet soda), but zero calories like diet…

How much do you love your job? It passes the Monday morning test just about every week (Test: Come Monday morning after a nice, relaxing weekend, are you psyched to go to work?)

Birthplace? Brooklyn, New York. Fuggedaboudit!!!

Favorite vacation spot? Again, I play the “two kids, ages 8 and 6″ card and point directly at Cinderella’s Castle, Main Street USA, Orlando, Florida. Although, to be completely honest, I much prefer the Disney Cruise Line to the parks. The cruise is chock full o’ Mickey, but allows for a somewhat separate kids/parents vacation (good for both kids and parents). Plus, the rides at the parks stay basically the same. The cruise mixes it up every year, so there’s always something different to see, try, etc. And, the cruise ship doesn’t get more crowded than “full capacity.” The parks can get insane during the very popular times…

Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? Probably. Although, in those cases, I consider myself to have missed dinner. Semantics, anyone?

Favorite pie? Apple.

Favorite holiday? That’s a tough one. I like Passover, because it brings the family together, and there isn’t as much hullabaloo as Thanksgiving, because it’s a Jewish holiday, not an American holiday. That said, I’ve always enjoyed the Christmas season, just because of how the world gets a little nicer and the music gets a little better during that time of year. Some people complain about the commercialization of Christmas. Given that it’s not a religious holiday for me, but an American holiday, I honestly don’t mind it as much…

Favorite food? That varies over time. Lately, I’ve been on a steak-on-the-grill kick…

Favorite smell? Again, too hard to pick just one. Johnson’s baby shampoo, mixed properly with the head of a recently showered child, is a pretty good place to start, though…

How do you relax? TV, piano, blogging/e-mail, interacting with other humans (particularly my wife and kids). Not necessarily in that order…

How do you see yourself in 10 years? Near the end of a satisfying and successful career, happily married for 24 years, one son entering the college of his choice, another in the midst of high-school and looking forward to doing the same. Surrounded by old friends and new friends, family members, etc.. Simple needs, really…

Topics: Random Acts of Blogging | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Meme if I must…”

  1. Ilya says at November 24th, 2008 at 10:27 am :
    Sorry, Brian, Israel can hardly be attributed to Africa. It is part of the Eurasia, and by every geographical measure sits in the “Asia” portion of that, but Africa only starts with Egypt, and that with the western bank of the Suez.

  2. Brian says at November 24th, 2008 at 10:35 am :
    You’ll get no argument from me, Ilya, but when we visited there, the debate about the three continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia) was a hot topic. My personal feeling is that the distinction is more political than geographic in the eyes of many…

  3. country music lyrics | Digg.com says at November 29th, 2008 at 7:04 am :
    [...] Meme if I must… … color something with crayons. Sang Karaoke. Very rarely, but yes, I’ve done this. Most notably in Seoul, South Korea, where Karaoke runs on a TV showing pornography behind the lyrics. Interesting country, South Korea… Paid for a meal with coins only. I was toying with the idea of saying yes here because … [...]

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