June 25th, 2015

Me 3

Thirteen Me-Facts

I can still meme! My friend slipjig suggested writing random facts about ourselves, and when I said "OK" he asked me for 13 of 'em. Here they are. If you're also willing and able to write about yourself, make a comment and I'll assign you a number.

1. I don't anymore, because I now find so much of it strident and unlistenable, but in the '90s I listened to talk radio -- including G. Gordon Liddy. I disagree with Liddy on an almost atomic level, but I could listen to his show! (He was on 106.7 WJFK in D.C. at the same time as Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara. I probably wouldn't have sought out his show if it had been on another station.)

2. I've twice been within handshake distance of actor-comic Patton Oswalt, first at the Marriott near the San Diego Convention Center at ComiCon 2010 and then in the green room of Portland's Helium Comedy Club in 2012. We don't actually know each other.

3. I once fielded a business phone call from former Apollo astronaut Fred Haise. I've also met shuttle astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, when I was a reporter. I managed not to geek out to her until the end of our chat (approximate quote: "What you do is so cool!"). She chuckled at this.

4. You will not get me to diss soap operas. They are almost always entertaining, and at times can be fascinating. They're story-making/story-telling boot camps, made incredibly quickly, and even when they get ridiculous I admire the craft and energy needed to make them. I watched some Guiding Light in the mid-'80s, some All My Children in the early '90s, and (in prime time) L.A. Law for most of its run. Nowadays, a lot of the TV I watch is soap-influenced: the comic book shows Arrow and The Flash, the music saga Empire, and (to an extent) Survivor.

5. I never ate grits the entire time I lived in Virginia (the farthest into The South that I've lived), and never tried them at all until 2008 in Seattle. I wish I had eaten them earlier. Yep, I like grits.

6. My first bagel: in Manhattan, in March 1992. Seemed the right time to start. Yep, I like bagels.

7. I visit airports just to visit, because I find airports neat. I'd take the D.C. Metro to Washington National; I'd drive (once I'd gotten my driver's license) to Dulles, only a few miles from where I lived; and now I'm an easy bus-and-MAX ride to Portland International Airport.

8. I got my current clock radio around 1987. I hope I'm not jinxing this appliance...

9. The quickest I've ever read a novel was likely my 200-page-a-day pace for Stephen King's Bag of Bones. Before that, I'd managed to read 100 pages a day of The Grapes of Wrath, mainly because I had to in order to be ready to talk about it in class. I should re-read it at a slower pace; even barreling through, I could tell it's a great novel.

10. It's lesser Douglas Adams, I admit, but 1988's The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul helped me get through a frustrating, unhappy period. Partly because I'd completely forgot the book was coming out, and as I was walking through Tysons Corner Center -- this was back when malls would depress and annoy me -- I passed Waldenbooks and stumbled upon the book's existence. Bought it right away and devoured it over a weekend.

11. Speaking of Adams, for some reason I needed three tries to get into The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I first saw a bit of the BBC miniseries when I was 10 or 11, and was bewildered; I picked up the book a year or so later and for some reason couldn't get past the scene where the Earth's destroyed; I tried again later that year THEN I got it. And it's helped bend my thinking ever since. I miss Douglas Adams.

12. I resist filling out those "states you have visited!" memes on Facebook, because I parse it: I only rode through Connecticut, I don't think we stopped, so that doesn't really count; the only part of Montana I've been in is West Yellowstone, which is the tiniest barest corner of that state; Nevada is just Reno, Carson City and Lake Tahoe for me so far...

13. I once gave up on going back to a coffee shop because when I first went there, an employee monitoring the in-store music skipped past a live rendition of Neil Diamond's "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show." Yep, I like Neil Diamond.