101 Random Things About Me

  1. My absolute favorite movie of all time is Robin Hood: Men in Tights. (“Did you say Abe Lincoln???”)
  2. If I go anywhere without my iPhone, rest assured it was purely by accident.
  3. I love Chinese food, but find myself growing increasingly bored with the cheap stuff (i.e. ala food court).
  4. I grew up in the small town of Gaylord, Michigan.  It’s a very rural, tourist town in Northern Michigan that boasts fantastic golfing and skiing, and because I don’t actually do either of those things, instead I just played a lot of video games.
  5. Aside from the ones at Disney World, I’m generally pretty terrified of rollercoasters.
  6. The first serious piece of writing that I ever did was an 88-page novella called The Adventures of the Space Patrol that I wrote when I was 14.
  7. I’m very much a night person – my ideal day would start sometime between 10-11am and then end with me going to bed between 3-4am.
  8. My parents bought me Go-Bots instead of Transformers as a kid and even in retrospect, I think they made the better choice.
  9. Unlike almost every other kid growing up, I actually really liked (and continue to like) broccoli.
  10. There was a point in my life when I actually thought that Pauly Shore was hilarious. I was young.
  11. In the fall of 2003, I packed all of my worldly possessions into my car and moved from Michigan to Florida. I still consider it to be one of the best things I’ve ever done.
  12. I absolutely love living in Florida and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
  13. One of my favorite childhood memories is the amount of effort my Mom would put into decorating our birthday cakes – never store bought, always made by hand, and frosted with whatever cartoon or video game characters my sister or I were into that year … Mario, Garfield, The Real Ghostbusters – you name it!
  14. As much as I enjoy being around the water, I’m not a particularly strong swimmer.  It gets even weirder when you consider that I used to be into SCUBA diving…
  15. Some might say that I dislike cats to an uncanny degree.
  16. I’ve never been called for jury duty. (streak ended 12/5/2011)
  17. One childhood remake that I think I could actually look forward to would be a live-action Voltron movie, but only if it came out looking something like this.
  18. I yearn for the days when I could still eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast each morning without getting fat.
  19. I was really excited when they announced that Futurama would be making a comeback, and then subsequently really disappointed when I saw the DVD movies because they just didn’t have the same feel as the first couple of seasons of the show.
  20. Along those same lines, I absolutely loved the first two seasons of Family Guy, but I can barely sit through any of the more recent episodes.
  21. I prefer funny Halloween, not scary Halloween.
  22. I used to create a weekly comic strip with my sister, Lori.
  23. At one point growing up I wanted an alligator for a pet because Clarissa had one on TV.
  24. My very first computer was a Franklin Ace 1200 – an Apple II clone from the early 1980s.
  25. My first e-mail address was @cyberspace.org … I can’t remember the actual username because over the years I had several there, but it was a free BBS-style service called Grex that we were able to access via telnet from the Host: prompt after connecting via our local library.  I think this was around 1992-1994-ish.
  26. I first started officially blogging in 2003, and really get a kick out of being able to go back and flip through all of those old written memories from time to time … and also that unlike a traditional journal, other people are free to browse through them at their leisure as well!  😉
  27. I have a tendency to talk to myself when I’m alone to work through things and organize my thoughts.
  28. I’m more of a sunset than a sunrise kind of person.
  29. I really enjoy the game Monopoly, although even more I think I just get a big kick out of all of the different versions they’ve made since the classic game.
  30. Before I quit drinking soda in 2011, my preferred favorite was Cherry Coke Zero and I would easily go through 3-4 cans a day.
  31. I’ve only done it a couple of times, but I’d probably actually enjoy bowling if we ever went.
  32. When I was 17, I had a ponytail, played the guitar, and wanted to be a rock star when I grew up.
  33. During that same period, I was a crazy Aerosmith fanatic – had every single one of their albums, was a member of their fan club, and probably saw them live almost a dozen times whenever they would perform anywhere in the state of Michigan, once even seeing shows a day apart on opposite sides of the state.
  34. I really enjoy taking photos, particularly around Walt Disney World, although I’d never have the guts to call myself anywhere near a “professional” and sometimes worry a bit about accidentally getting perceived as thinking that I’m one.
  35. There was a point in my writing career when I was thinking about being a movie critic.
  36. Regular, yellow incandescent light bulbs drive me crazy.
  37. Whenever I see a rainbow, it reminds me of my older sister, who passed away from a brain tumor when I was 2 years-old.
  38. I can’t think of a better way to kill a couple of hours than a good game of mini-golf with my wife and whoever else feels like coming along!
  39. If I had to pick a fast food place of preference, it would probably be either Arby’s or Taco Bell. Or more likely Chick-Fil-A, though honestly I try to avoid fast food whenever possible these days.
  40. I nearly had a nervous breakdown the day before my wedding because there was just too much to do and I couldn’t handle all of the stress. In hindsight, though, it was a good reminder of why it’s important sometimes to just let go and accept that not everything will always go according to your precise, meticulously thought out and overanalyzed plans.
  41. One of the things I look forward to most of all at Christmastime are my Mom’s hand-decorated Santa cookies.
  42. My all-time favorite video game has always been Final Fantasy 2 (IV).
  43. I once hit an alligator with my car.
  44. I love tropical fish, but I don’t have anywhere near the discipline to take care of a salt water aquarium.
  45. I spent a lot of time as a kid building model rockets with my Dad that we would later launch down at the school playground.  I think it’s a big part of what got me interested in space early on.
  46. I don’t really care for sports in the slightest, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be basketball.  At least they spend the majority of the game actually playing…
  47. I’m one of those crazy people who enjoys the newer seasons of The Simpsons just as much as the older ones.
  48. I’m not sure if I could be asked to choose a favorite Muppet, but The Muppets Take Manhattan is my favorite one of their movies.
  49. Technology and computers and the Internet have always been a huge part of my life, and I have a hard time dealing with older generations who are quick to dismiss those things as a waste of time.
  50. I really, really, really hate snow.
  51. Don’t tell my dentist, but I only brush my teeth once a day and I feel very guilty about it … though not enough to actually do it more.
  52. I’ve had a subscription to the Pillsbury cookbook collection for years, though I mostly just drool over the pictures instead of actually making anything in them.
  53. I proposed to my wife in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot.
  54. In high school by far my favorite class was Latin, even though it was really hard and it may not necessarily have seemed like it to my teacher at the time. I probably learned more about the English language from my Latin classes than I did from my English classes…
  55. I wish I was better at playing pool because I always thought that it was a cool game, but just never really got the practice.
  56. I still really enjoy going to see a movie at the theater – I just wish they’d figure out a way so that the prices didn’t make you spend half the night in regret.
  57. I’m probably even more into Legos as an adult than I was as a kid.
  58. Also, I don’t care if the correct term is actually “LEGO bricks” or “LEGO toys” instead of just calling them Legos – that’s what I grew up calling them and I’m not changing.
  59. I absolutely love peanut butter, which is sometimes difficult because my wife can’t even stand to be around the stuff.
  60. Politically speaking, you would probably consider me to be a liberal. I think it’s ridiculous that gay people don’t have the right to get married, I think it should be a woman’s choice to have an abortion, and frankly, I’m tired of being told to live my life according to a book that I don’t necessarily myself believe in.
  61. Eggs Benedict are my favorite kind of eggs, if the cook knows how to make them right.  Scrambled, with ham, cheese, and peppers, is a close second that’s more difficult to screw up.
  62. I tend to put things off until the last minute…
  63. Despite having pretty much grown up in the Boy Scouts and even spending 5 years teaching other kids about nature at scout camp, bugs really give me the heebie-jeebies these days.
  64. In the spring of 2011, my wife and I got a beagle puppy who we named Cleo.  I came up with the clever name after watching her wait until all of her 5 brothers and sisters would go to sleep, and then climb to the top of the pile to lay down herself.  The name is a play on Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile … or in this case, Cleopatra, Queen of the Pile… 😆
  65. It took me two years after I moved to Florida to finally buy an annual pass to Disney World, but I’ve renewed it every year since, to the point where my wife and I visit so much that we couldn’t imagine moving to another state if it meant not getting to hang out with Mickey Mouse so often!
  66. Christmas is without a doubt my favorite holiday of all-time; my least would maybe be St. Patrick’s Day or something, but mainly because I hate the pinching and I think all of the green food looks gross.
  67. One of the best gifts my Dad ever gave me were my very own copies of The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings when I was in the 4th grade.
  68. I’ll try to fight it when awesome views are at stake at the tops of skyscrapers and lighthouses and such, but deep down I’m kind of really afraid of heights.
  69. I would listen to Bill Nye read the phone book, just because he would find a way to make it fun and exciting. Science rules!!!
  70. I’m a very nostalgic person – everything from the toys I used to play with growing up, TV shows I used to watch, and even the delicious cheese toast that my Mom used to make me each morning for breakfast … those were the good, old days, indeed.
  71. As much as I had an absolute blast visiting Disneylandfor my 3rd anniversary, in my heart it still doesn’t hold a candle to Walt Disney World.
  72. I’m an Eagle Scout.
  73. For the big service project that everyone has to do to become an Eagle Scout, I cleaned up a small hiking trail in our town.  Six months later, a horrific wind storm came through and basically ruined everything that I had done.  Apparently somebody else went through and refurbished it again, but I don’t like to go there to visit when I’m back in town just because it looks nothing like when I did it the first time.  🙁
  74. I have a hard time distinguishing patriotism from bragging and being arrogant these days, and I think most of it is as a result of our horrible foreign policy of never leaving other countries alone.
  75. It took me 10 years to publish my first book.
  76. I have a feeling that I would absolutely love World of Warcraft, however I refuse to let myself play because I’m afraid I’d get addicted to it just like I did with MUDs back when I was in grade school.
  77. Whether someone thinks that I’m funny is probably more important of an impression to me than whether they actually like me.
  78. Someday I would really like to learn Spanish, both because it has a very big presence where I live here in Tampa, and also because I kinda feel bad for perpetuating the stereotype behind the joke, “What do you call somebody who only speaks one language? American.”
  79. My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate peanut butter cup, made by a local place in my hometown called Mooney’s Ice Cream that we used to ride our bikes across town to as a family on hot, summer nights.
  80. Although I’m not technically “afraid” of flying, I’m getting pretty darned close!
  81. I’m not a religious person, although it’s mostly because all of the dogma of organized religion is a real turn-off for me. Someday I might be open to the idea of a divine creator, but I don’t know why he’d give a shit whether I worship him or not after having created life, the universe, and everything.
  82. Sometimes I wish that I could draw, just because there are so many cartoonists on the web today that I greatly admire and am constantly jealous of from a creative standpoint because there are things that they can do with their medium that I just can’t do with my own.
  83. I’m not sure how I’d even function without regular doses of sarcasm in my life.
  84. I honestly never really got into Seinfeld when it was a massive hit, but I keep saying that I want to buy the DVDs and check them out because I think that I’d really like them.
  85. On a similar note, I used to absolutely love Curb Your Enthusiasm, from Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, however these days I find myself just feeling sorry for Larry in the most recent of episodes. It was hilarious when his bizarre standards of life would get him into mischief, but these days maybe I just find myself agreeing with him all the more!
  86. I really want to get back into SCUBA diving again someday just because it seems silly to live on a coastal town in Florida and not pop in to check out life under the sea every so often.
  87. I cried at the end of Toy Story 3. Profusely.
  88. In 2009 I got back into playing Dungeons & Dragons after having not played since the mid-90s, and I honestly think I enjoy it more now than I did back then.
  89. I once watched Kevin Smith speak for 7 hours straight, and along with the rest of the audience would’ve gladly stayed longer had the convention center staff not kicked him off the stage at 9pm.
  90. Looking back at American history sometimes leaves me feeling more embarrassed than proud, just because I’m not sure that the good things (innovation, technology, creative starts) are enough to outweigh the bad ones (slavery, war, civil rights).
  91. My first car was a beat-up Oldsmobile that my parents had bought brand-new almost a decade earlier. It was actually a fine, reliable car, though, until one of my classmates hit the driver’s side door when it was parked hard enough to ensure that it would never open from the outside again. After that, it kinda sucked…
  92. I would’ve made a commitment to get gas at 7/11 exclusively had they opted to keep some of their stores converted into Kwik-E-Marts full-time for their promotion of The Simpsons Movie.
  93. Dave Barry is kind of my writing hero, for proving to me that a guy can make a living writing about flaming Pop-Tarts and exploding whales and the atrocity that is the low-flow toilet phenomenon.
  94. I used to be really big into Angry Birds until they started getting too hard for me to beat any of the levels. Nowadays I still download all of the latest updates, but usually end up quitting after a few minutes of being stuck on the very first board in the expansion pack.
  95. I wonder if anyone is even still reading this far into the list. And yet I still have another 13 left to go?!
  96. One of my personal goals each year is to spend more time walking on the beach at night.
  97. I think that Black Friday shopping is absolutely nuts … although it still doesn’t stop me from pouring over the ads on Thanksgiving just in case.
  98. I used to be really into the reality TV show Survivor for the first several years that it was on the air, but eventually just grew bored of it because after a while all of those deserted islands started to look exactly the same.
  99. I enjoy the thrill of New York City, but at the same time am almost too petrified of getting mugged to spend any actual time there.
  100. I wish I had made more of a priority to go see shuttle launches in Cape Canaveral before they ended the program in 2011.
  101. I’m very glad that this list is finally over because I was really running out of things to say about myself!