Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Tag! You're it!

I've been tagged by the lovely and talented Christabro

10 years ago today:

It was near the end of the summer of 1995. I was watching Friends, ER, Lois and Clark – the new adventures of Superman and the Simpsons. Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Blues Traveler, Sting, Pearl Jam, Gin Blossoms, and Hootie were on my play list. We called them “Mix Tapes” back then.

A year before that I had returned to college after “taking a break” and moving to Chicago for a few years. Sorry Cheryl – but I was a theater geek with some success (but don’t hate me, I was never a fan of Rent.)

1995 was the last time I took the entire summer off from school or work, something I did deliberately. Most of my time was spent in a new fraternity some people and I helped to start. I spent nearly the entire month of August planning a weekend camping trip for all the members before the start of the school year and a group of us moving in to the fraternity house.

Small note about fraternities – Yes, I am very proud of the work we did, No – we did not drink all the time, Yes – there were a few bad apples after I left, but they were removed. Our chapter is once again a very good example of the positive roll these organizations can play on a campus.

5 years ago today:

I was flying back home from Boston where a small conference was being held. It was an uneventful morning flight. That afternoon I went in to work to clear a few things off my desk and went home. I still have the same job.

1 year ago today:

There was an event in Orlando. It was hot, it was very hot. It was humid, dripping. But I put on my jacket and slacks and went to the tradeshow booth. There I found that in one of the worlds largest convention centers, the air conditioning in my section had failed. Why in the world would you have an enormous convention in Orlando in August? There is an event every July in Las Vegas where I ask the same question. How cheep do you have to be?


I spent the day at the office. Afterwards, I talked my self out of going to the gym, did a load of whites, called my beloved sister, and went over chapter three in frustration. The notes from my editor are clear – but making things work can be challenging. I don’t even know if the rest of the book is interesting anymore.


I spent the day at the office. I sat down and wrote this. Chapter three is my next task.


I’ll go to the office. Work on the book some more after. Are you seeing a trend here?

5 Snacks I enjoy:

Goldfish – the cracker not the actual fish (if you thought I may have formed a habit in the fraternity) Qudoba around the corner makes fresh hot chips, those are really good, Popcorn during movies, Reeses Pieces

5 bands I know most of the lyrics to their songs:

The Allman Brothers Band, Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, The Pernice Brothers, Kean, Coldplay, Tahiti 80, Dashboard Confessional – this is a much easier question then the others…

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:

Pay off any debt, buy a Honda Element, and invest the rest, live off of interest. That’s a lot of money and I am a pretty simple guy. Eventually I would buy a summer cottage up north, but not this year.

5 locations I would like to run away to:

Run with the bulls in Spain – I say it every year, but never do. There are a few islands I still need to visit in Hawaii. Scotland… that’s about it.

5 bad habits I have:

Rolling my eyes when I get bored. It’s a bad tell in both business and poker. Over the past seven years I have quit smoking and drinking, those were the really big ones.

5 things I like doing:

Drinking coffee with a group of good friends. Driving for three to four hours listening to a great mix or new music (with coffee and friends), Flying to a new location. Writing. Seeing a really good movie.

5 things I would never wear:

Underwear made of razor blades, bracelet made of blood sucking leaches, the classic tuxedo Tee-shirt, a hat made of kangaroo kidneys, an earring – that hole closed up years ago and we aren’t poking anything through it again!

5 TV shows I like:

I am assuming that these are shows currently on the air, and not re-run, second run, or off the air shows: Arrested Development is the funniest show on television today – with out doubt. Gilmore Girls – the best show that no one is watching, thank God its on the WB and they can keep it on the air with low numbers. Myth Busters – (Deep romantic voice) “Hello Kari, my name is Paul.” It’s a great show with or with out her still. Fox and Friends First (Deep romantic voice) “Hello Karin, my name is Paul” – there really is no other reason to wake up that early. The Simpsons – a show that reflects our deepest insecurities and is consistently funny.

5 movies I like:

Here is the thing, when I lived in Chicago doing theater, I would manager a Blockbuster Video to pay the bills. Everyone would ask me about movie picks. After I put that behind me, people still asked, because I had an extensive knowledge base of movies. A few years ago I tried to write some of my thoughts down in excel so people could just refer to the list and stop asking. Once I got past the best 250 movies to see I stopped. It took too much time and was pretty tough to narrow it down to a top ten, or top five. But I will tell you this:

If you want to see great cinematography, watch Lawrence of Arabia. Want a great intrigue, North by Northwest, Personally, I am a big fan of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (but Snatch is really good as well) If you liked Farris Bueller’s Day Off, you should rent The Rachel Papers

I’ll throw in a couple of “must see” titles:
-The Shawshank Redemption
-The Usual Suspects
-To Kill a Mockingbird
-Leon (also called The Professional)
-Blazing Saddles
-Young Frankenstein
-Tootsie (it’s funny to see the size of cell phones in these older movies)
-A Fish Called Wanda
-Raising Arizona
Well, I could go on for hours – let me know if you need more suggestions, I’d be happy to offer some.

5 famous people I'd like to meet:

I am with Christa on this one – I have met many “famous” people, and find they are just normal people with jobs that everyone knows about. There is only one that I would like to spend a day with really, aside from my fiancĂ©e Jennifer Love Hewitt, and that would be Bill Murray.

5 biggest joys at the moment:

Playing with my sisters cat Spencer, Walking, Finding the one thing a week that I write that isn’t crap, my little VW working, Hanging out with the Sibs/ friends

5 people to tag:

This game is a lot like duck, duck, goose. I was so happy to be tagged, it was such an honor to think someone wanted to know a little about me, but everyone I am currently reading has already been goosed. If you haven’t been tagged, and want to be tagged, I am tagging you.


  1. No shame in doing theater. Hey I got up courage to audition myself. It's being a RentHead, or Rentie as I amnow calling them, that I don't like.

    Love Ella Fitgerald, named my car Ella in fact.

  2. I really enjoyed your answers here! I liked your list of things you would not wear-very funny! Good luck with your book, I hope it all works out for you. We should list the famous people we have met and the circumstance underwhich the meet took place sometime, what do you think? I'd like to hear your list.

  3. "Sure - but where to start? There are so many celebrities in my life" he said in a playful tone.

    Christa - I am curious to hear about you brushes with fame as well. I'll let you set the parameters - is it a game? Best story wins? You would win that. Or a list of names, who has met the most - of course, I trust you to be honest, but can you trust me??

    Cheryl - So sorry to read about having a tough week. Could you share some of your favorite Ella songs? Maybe memories? It sounds like a little alone time with Ella might do some good this week.

    Thank you for reading - have to get back to work.


  4. Christa - when you set the parameters, don't forget to include the definition of a famous person - does the 1970 Detroit Weatherman Sunny Elliot count?

  5. Sure, you can count him, why not? Local celebs can be celebrities too, I guess. (I did have to re-read the name though, at first read I thought it said Sam Elliot and I thought, wow, I love that guy. I was thinking not so much about a contest, more just a list of who we met and where or if there is a story behind it. I will of course be honest, I have no reason to lie. Do your next post on it and I will too. You can blame it on me, of course!

  6. Ok, so now that I am actually thinking about this, I wonder if I will be able to remember everyone. It's not that I've met "tons" of celebrities, it's just that I've met lots of famous figure skaters too. Isn't it sad to think of how many people we've met who might be famous in certain groups and we don't even have a clue who they are? Wait, is that sad for us or them? Something to ponder...Good luck with your list!

  7. All right, I just took a few minutes to joint down some names so I wouldn't forget when I got home... I am not going to tell every story, just the fun or interesting ones.

    Your list is gong to be so much longer then mine - figure skaters, people on airplanes, in airports.

    I am feeling a bit pathetic suddenly. Whose idea was this?


  8. Mine, and don't feel pathetic, mine aren't that great.