21. I can remember almost to the moment hearing my first Madonna song. And yes, I’m straight.
22. The coolest volunteer gig I’ve ever had was one month at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in the summer of 1992. I helped out at “Star Trek: The Exhibition,” taking passes, keeping traffic moving in the crowded exhibit, answering questions and getting my geek on.
23. One of the Star Trek exhibit’s guests while I was there was a Russian MiG pilot and his son, being escorted (I’m told) by a production person from “60 Minutes.” Another day I was there, the 500,000th visitor entered the exhibit, a North Carolina guy who liked both original and Next Gen Trek. My hands, sorting passes, were seen on the local news that night.
24. While I’ve yet to go to another country, I’ve been in international waters: in September 1987 I joined my dad on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, during a three-day “tiger cruise” (where family members are invited onboard for a short cruise). The aircraft carrier sailed from Portland, Maine to Norfolk, Virginia. That’s the most military experience I hope, personally, to have.
25. My cousin Neil Weare (he of Guam and the Olympics) has met three world leaders: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Fidel Castro. There are world leaders who haven’t met all three of them…
26. My brother, due to the classified nature of his job, can tell us what he does…but not why. I could not do jobs like that.
27. I never felt the earthquake that struck Portland in February 2001. I was riding a bus at the time, and the earthquake was mild enough that the bus’s shocks absorbed it and I didn’t know it had happened until I reached my destination, and the TV was on with news reports. I have felt one earthquake, in the early ‘80s in Camarillo.
28. I have not had a TV of my own for over two years; I left mine behind when I moved into my current studio apartment, partly because I wouldn’t have the space for it.
29. In 1999, a year before I moved out of Hermiston, I stopped subscribing to cable because I was starting to recognize a particularly yummy muffin of an actress as she went from one Mexican telenovela to another. That was my sign I was watching too much TV.
30. I have gone on record – in print, in newspapers – saying I liked the films Hudson Hawk and The Postman. Hawk is good dumb fun (which I decided when I saw it at a preview, before the reviews came out), and The Postman, with all of its flaws (I admit that), still left me with a positive feeling; I liked the film’s attitude and look. But then, I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stories.
31. I attended the Air & Space Museum’s 20th-anniversary commemoration of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1989. That, I believe, is the event where Vice President Dan Quayle meant to begin a speech with “My fellow Americans” and instead said “My fellow astronauts…”
32. On and off, I’ve listened to the same DJ for 20 years: Don Geronimo of the nationally syndicated “Don & Mike Show.” I first heard him in 1984, as an afternoon DJ on a top 40 station, then on that same station’s morning show starting in 1985 (when Mike O’Meara joined him). They still originate from the D.C. area, but are heard coast-to-coast, and this year a Portland station picked them up. And I still have tapes of their ‘80s morning show.
33. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books (plus Neil Gaiman’s companion book Don’t Panic), The Battle of Brazil (about director Terry Gilliam and his fight to get the film Brazil made), and the film review collection Harlan Ellison’s Watching.
34. In the summer of 2001, Troma Films’ Lloyd Kaufman gave me a DVD copy of Cannibal! The Musical after I recited to him the trailer to Troma’s War.
35. I still have easy access to my ‘70s and ‘80s-era Star Wars toys, at my parents’ house. They’re far too distressed to be collectible (the toys, not the parents!), but they have nostalgic value.
36. Three of the coolest (to me) items my grandparents Irv and Jean passed along to me in recent years are a framed aerial photo of 1970s Portland, a 1940 movie tie-in edition of Daphne duMaurier’s Rebecca (wonderful, both as a book and as a film), and the unabridged dictionary on my desk. Thank you, Grandpa Irv and Grandma Jean. (That shows you how important words and pictures are to me.)
37. I stayed up all night to watch Voyager II’s flyby of Neptune on Aug. 25th, 1989. That happy event balanced out my viewing, live, of the Challenger explosion in 1986.
38. I still have and use an LP player.
39. The TV I abandoned in 2002, when I moved here, is the same model of Zenith that you can see in Sean Connery’s murky apartment in Finding Forrester.
40. I hope to coin this phrase: You can’t lurk and dance at the same time. (“Bumper stickers,” the phrase thinks, “here I come!”)