Random Facts About Me

So Facebook’s Notes function acts a lot like a blog, but … I have one of those. I got “tagged” [literally] in one of those viral Facebook things, but since it’s the lovely Dr. Perry, whom I’ve known for almost half my life, I’ll respond…

I. Once you have been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random facts about yourself.
II. At the end of the note, tag 16 people
III. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

Ain’t taggin’ no one but Jeff, because well, Jeff Holland sucks for making me do this.

  1. I shoot a Canon DSLR, but I have a Nikon Coolpix S210 for my point-and-shoot … on purpose.
  2. Despite the fact that I wore a lot of flannel shirts in the 1990s, I didn’t own a Nirvana record until the current decade.
  3. Contrary to how I was raised, my vote for Obama was not my first for a Democrat. That one went to Don Siegelman, and boy do I ever regret it. [Correlation != causation.]
  4. I had never met anyone in Caedmon’s Call [after a show, or otherwise] before becoming a member of the [caedmonscall.net] Staff. I don’t think anyone in the band actually realizes this fact.
  5. I purposefully chose not to date in my two years at MSMS because, “I’d never find my wife there. We’re gonna go to separate schools, and what’s the point in that?” Somewhere, Rick and Jessica are laughing.
  6. I love that my dad’s middle name is his mother’s maiden name, and any girl I date ends up getting judged, rightly or wrongly, by what effect her last name would have on the middle name of our theoretical first-born. [This random note intended to prove to my mother that I do, in fact, want to get married and have kids, and think about it.]
  7. I own a classic acoustic guitar, a 1960s Gibson Dove, but do not actually play the guitar. Andrew Osenga played it on the first of his Letters to the Editor EPs, which you can still download for free, and it resides at his house to this day.
  8. I swore that I would go by my middle name, Franklin [probably shortening it to Frank], when we moved to the South. I forgot about it until Mom asked me about two weeks before we moved, and I decided I’d stick with my weird shortening of Geoffrey.
  9. I had never seen a live-action hockey game until I first came to Huntsville. I have seen many, many, many since then.
  10. I had a 34 on my ACT, a 1510 on my SAT, was a National Merit Finalist, and finished college with a sub-3.0 GPA, lower than my brother‘s collegiate scores. I am living proof that a high IQ doesn’t mean you’re gonna kick ass in college. My GPA is decremented for a variety of reasons: MSMS burning me out on school, my untreated depression, all the time I spent screwing around with Student Government instead of school, and … well, being a lazy student.
  11. My boss asked me how much money it would take to buy me out of the last year of my degree program, as he needed me full-time at the time. I considered his offer but knew it would affect our ABET accreditation.
  12. I used to be afraid to fly, and am still afraid of falling from heights. I used to freak out when our family would drive over bridges, especially the Brent Spence Bridge. [What can I say? I was a weird kid.]
  13. Two of my best friends pretty well thought they’d never like me after the first time they met me. That’s because our first meeting was right before the second Lord of the Rings movie came out, and my friends decided to prepare for it by watching the extended version of the first one. How would you torture me, y’all? Strap me to a chair and make me watch a three-hour movie and do nothing else. I’m such a spastic, continuous partial attention person that I just can’t do it. [The last movie I saw in the theater was The Incredibles, and only because Mark wanted to go see it.]
  14. If I’d been born three hours earlier, I would’ve graduated with the aforementioned Dr. Perry. I was born at 0300 on 1 Oct 1978, and Ohio’s cutoff to start school was 30 Sep.
  15. I once had a friend tell me, “If something ever happened to my husband, I would want to get remarried to you.” This revelation became even weirder when she got divorced.
  16. My pinkies are crooked, which is a family trait. My left one is straighter because I’ve broken it seven times. Okay, broke it once, playing soccer, and I keep re-breaking the same spot because the break is at the end of the penultimate bone.

Any other questions? 🙂

How I Roll

Bryan sucks.

1. What time do you usually leave for lunch?

I try to go as close to 1100 as I can. There are a couple places close by that are packed by 1115, so I learned to go early if I wanted a table without a wait. Every Tuesday, I meet with friends for Thai at 1115, but then on Thursdays, I have a telecon at 1100, so … it varies.

2. How long do you usually take for lunch?

It varies depending how busy I am at the office. If I’m covered up, I take a shorter break. The inverse of that is that, if I’m really stressed out, I’ll go a little longer. I’ve taken up to two hours, but that’s very rare. Usually an hour if I leave the office for lunch, a half-hour if I eat at my desk.

3. Ever eat lunch at home?

Yeah, I’ve done it. Not as often now that I live in Madison, though.

4. What are your favorite places to eat out for Work Lunch?

I personally am craving Thai Garden since we didn’t go on Tuesday. Like … I want Thai, and it’s before 0700 on a Saturday.

5. How often do you bring food in from home?

When I was a broke college kid, all the time. Now, not so much. Lazy. Plus, when I bring lunch, I tend to not leave the office, and I’ve found that leaving the office is good for my stress level.

6. Are you a lone ranger or a community eater?

I eat with co-workers or friends 2-3 times a week. Some weeks, it’s every day. Some weeks, it’s not at all.

7. How often does your company pay for your lunch?

Once a quarter or so, if a meeting runs into lunch.

8. What is your favorite lunch meal of all time?

Mmm … three-star chicken Pad Thai.

Books and Lists

So, I said that I liked marking things off of lists, and boy, do I ever. [It’s a compulsion.] Stolen from Kari and CJ, I’m blaming Holland for this because, well, I blame all memes on him at this point. Susan Coleman pointed out that the BBC generated this base list:

Here’s how it works:

  1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
  2. Italicize those you intend to read.
  3. Mark in red the books you LOVE. [Ed.: I’ll cheat and boldly italicize the ones I love.
  4. Reprint this list in your blog.
  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte — and before you ask, Jeff, no … I don’t like Wuthering Heights either.
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible – I haven’t read all of it, I admit.
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – Meh.
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams — oh, I do believe I just lost all my geek cred.
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll — I’ve started but not finished it.
  30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis — I just lost all my hipster Christian cred.
  37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. Dune – Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens — or at least I’m fairly sure that I have. If I did, I read it at MSMS, and I’m surprised I remember my own name after that.
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville — started it once.
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett — but so, so long ago that I might as well not have.
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce
  76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath – I’ll skip on advice of my psychiatrist. 😉
  77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt — I failed to read this when Kari did a virtual book club about it. I am ashamed.
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens — dammit, I’ve read more Dickens than I thought. Must be a Mississippi thing?
  82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White — quite some time ago. Age in the single digits.
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom — Seriously? I love the big-eared dude, but … really?
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl — again, forever and a day ago.
  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

Do you have suggestions for what I should read on this list that I haven’t indicated that I would? [Yes, Kari, I hear you yelling for Pride and Prejudice. All the way over here. And my window’s closed. 😉 ]

Top Ten Movies

Well, since Jeff called me out like a punk, I better go through with it. It’s not like I’ve been writing about much lately anyway. [Besides, I get to break out Jeff’s favorite tag!]

The rules of the “game” are simple:

  1. list your top ten favorite films (in no particular order).
  2. if you’re tagged, you’ve got to post and tag 3-5 other people.
  3. give a tag back (some link love) to the one who tagged you in your post
  4. give a hat tip (HT) to Dan

I’ll follow those, except somehow along the way, Dan lost the linklove. Sorry, dude. Since these are in no particular order, I won’t use an ordered list. That saves me brain cycles on ordering them…

  • Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back: Yes, they are defining movies of my generation, even if the first one came out before I was born. I don’t include RotJ because I hate Ewoks, and the first three … well, the problem is the same: letting Lucas write dialogue is like letting me plan an exercise regimen.
  • The Big Lebowski. I adore introducing this farcical romp of mistaken identity to people. Goes better with a good Caucasian, and I mix a hell of a Caucasian, Jackie. And yes, because I am a large, bearded man, I often get pushed into role-playing Walter. Eight year olds, Dude.
  • Primer. I’ll go off the board here with a movie I’ve seen only once, but have probably replayed in my head a number of times. It absolutely blew my fuckin’ mind when I saw it.
  • Clerks. So recently, a friend called this “a whiny bitch movie”. And, well, yes. It’s crude and hilarious, but it’s also pretty ingenious. Well, for a buddy movie shot in black and white that involves playing roller hockey on the roof of convenience store. This movie, of course, made Kevin Smith’s career. Thankfully, it was the first of his films that I saw.
  • Arma … okay, no, I couldn’t finish typing it. Seriously, this is a fun movie to watch with me ONLY IF YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO ME YELL AT THE TV AND THROW STUFF AROUND THE ROOM. Ahem. [I’m a killjoy.]
  • Swingers. Right up there with Lebowski, a movie I can pop in at any time and always feel better afterward. When I thought yesterday that I’d be driving to Houston last night, I said, “I can be to Houston by midnight. Hell, I’ll be up five hundy by midnight!” Too bad no one in the room got it.
  • Miracle, for two reasons: the agonizing “AGAIN! [whistle]” scene, which is totally legit, and … well, beating the fucking Soviets. Okay, a third reason: Kurt Russell’s son plays hockey for my alma mater, and not yours. Chumps.
  • Apollo XIII. Um, hi. I work in manned spaceflight, and this movie makes heroes out of engineers. Not all of my days are as exciting as the “We’ve got to make this fit into this using this” scene, but some days, it feels like that. Without, you know, the deadline and the risk of people dying if we keep on fucking around.
  • High Fidelity. Let’s just say that I watched it last week and lived it starting Sunday. Well, not really. But I did consider autobiographically organizing my CD collection. [I’m okay, though. Really.] Admission: if I were independently wealthy, I would buy a big, old downtown building and put a coffeehouse/bar, record store, and music venue in it. I would also hire John Cusack to manage it and smoke a lot of cigarettes.
  • Shawshank Redemption. If you have to ask why, you clearly have not watched the movie, and … well, you should. Mind you, this comes from someone who really doesn’t watch movies that often.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ending with Kubrick is always a great choice. Stunningly beautiful, hauntingly weird, terribly quotable, and spot-on. Well, other than the fact that we’re seven years past that and still fucking around in low Earth orbit.

Okay, since I have to have a list of victims …