The spreading “25 Things” meme on Facebook has been a fascinating read, both for the things I’ve learned about close friends and for the insights I’ve gained about people to whom I’ve more recently become connected. So after getting tagged myself by Noelle, I feel compelled to reciprocate.
Such memes are an old blogging practice, so I am staying “old school” and posting my list on my blog first. It will make its way to Facebook thanks to my geeky news feed integrations, but it also means I’m bypassing the Facebook tagging. If in some way reading this compels you to participate, please link back to my CommuterDaddy blog. I can always use a few friendly back links.
Here’s the premise: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.
So here goes:
1. I’ve tried growing my hair out. It actually got halfway down my neck in length when I was in college, but was about double that in volume. I’ve been shaving my head ever since. Pictures of the long-hair experiment exist somewhere in the archives, but I’ll not be posting them here.
2. I was the only short-haired member (see # 1) of the Hollywood-based hard rock band Dionysus during the early ’90s. We played the Whisky and Roxy, and spent a summer touring clubs from Portland, OR, to Phoenix. I was lead singer, part-time guitarist and band booking agent.
3. One last hair fact: My hair has been graying since I was in college. It was noticable enough back then that for my 21st birthday my bandmates bought me Grecian Formula. They’re funny guys.
4. Los Angeles was a great place to go to college, but overall I much prefer Cape Cod. There’s truthfully an average of only two weeks per year when I wish we lived somewhere warmer.
5. My other band experience was with a Cape Cod-based acoustic ensemble that played what we coined as “heavy wooden music.” That band was originally named Man Bites Dog, but when a blues band from Beverly by the same name threatened to sue us (the drummer’s wife was a lawyer, allegedly), we changed it to Mahogany Ridge.
6. During that time, I also was among the first organizers — along with Cynthia Cole and Annie Hart Cool — of the Citizens Bank Concerts in the Park series for the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. Back then, we were just booking Hyannis and Falmouth. My, how it has grown!
7. Brandy and I met when her mother brought her to the former Prodigal Son in Hyannis to introduce her to another musician, and we, Mahogany Ridge, happened to be playing. Brandy and I had an instant connection, but it still took Brandy asking me out a couple of weeks later to lead to our first date. We have been together ever since.
8. Mason is named after our house, in a manner of speaking. There are parts of the house — fireplace, mudroom and BBQ pit — that were built by a mason that lived here. Now a Mason lives here. He was born a little more than 9 months after we moved in, so it all tied together.
9. My first guitar was bestowed upon me when I was 7 years old. Mason, now 7, has been asking for a guitar recently. Ah, the circle of life….
10. Sam, our oldest, has been playing the saxophone for the last couple of years. Benjamin, our youngest, has shown a propensity to be a drummer since he was a baby. If I switch to bass, we’ll have ourselves a band.
11. Being a husband and a dad are my two favorite pursuits. I think our family rocks.
12. When we bought our circa 1850s abode in 2000, I had no direct experience with home improvements. Three refinished bedroom wood floors (two out of three here), two hand-built closet doors (door on the left in this photo), a hand-built front door, a dishwasher installation, two faucet replacements, a few demolitions, construction of two container gardens and a container for a clam-shell patio, and numerous other patch, paint and putty jobs later, I’m ready for my old-house merit badge.
(Update 2.21.2009: R.I.P. front door. It was a victim of the demolition required for the new addition.)
13. That said, I have put off installing a sump pump in the basement for far too long. The annual 12-Shop-Vac-bucket march up the basement stairs after a significant snow-melting rain is getting old.
14. Once the basement drainage project is done, I intend to transform the space into a functioning workshop and man cave, although there is not enough ceiling height to accomodate any over 6-foot friends. I’ll have to meet them at the golf course or the pub.
15. I have yet to break 100 on the golf course. I’m close, but playing barely once a month isn’t helping much.
16. I miss playing pickup tennis, football, softball and volleyball regularly. Where did all of that free time go?
17. Last year, I spent approximately 600 hours in my car, most of it commuting to New York or Waltham. That’s the equivalent of 25 full days. That answers the previous question.
18. The VW Passat we bought in November is the first non-Saturn that’s been my primary commuting car in 10 years.
19. Mike Barnicle‘s writing inspired me to pursue a journalism career. The allure of being a newspaper columnist has lost some shine — as has Mike Barnicle. That dream now, however, loosely translates to being a full-time, reasonably compensated blogger. Someday….
20. As a kid, I loved spending hours completing jigsaw puzzles. I still do love tackling them with our boys. I see a lot of parallels in that pursuit and being a reporter, which is a big reason why I loved the latter so much.
21. If I weren’t already trying to blaze trails in transforming newspapers into new media enterprises, I’d harbor stronger desires to be a farmer or restaurateur — or maybe both.
22. I’d likely not be very good at the latter. I rarely cook a recipe the same way twice. I’m sure I could, but most of the joy I derive from cooking is in the improvisation.
23. Which is odd, because when it came to performing, I was a stickler for being on the mark. My bandmates would occasionally get frustrated by my perfectionism. The same could be said for my current colleagues, I’m sure.
24. I’d like to visit all 50 states. So far, I’ve been to 29, plus Puerto Rico. Luckily, almost all have been for business and pleasure. Only my Pennsylvania trips have been solely for work, so far.
25. I eat ice cream in the middle of the night too frequently. So much so that when I wake up in the middle of the night while traveling, I am instantly disappointed that no ice cream is nearby.