Here’s my list. I know, I know: shouldn’t it be “100 Things about Shiny?” Well, a while back I had a list of 50 done by someone who hardly knew me (but has since become a wonderful friend). You can see that list here.
Some of this stuff has been covered elsewhere on my blog; some of it may be covered in the future.
All of it is shamefully embarrassing.
1. I’ve had the nickname “Shiny” for a very long time — starting when I was in summer camp and I was called “Shiny Hiny.” I hated it. Hated, hated, hated it.
2. The name started sticking in college — just around the same time that R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People” was popular.
3. I’ve been a “road-geek” since I was six, due to an interest in a project my brother was doing at the time in fourth grade.
4. When I was eight, I wrote a letter to the Maryland State Highway Administration complaining about confusing signage on I-270. They wrote me back, and the confusing signs are no longer there.
5. I was once cock-blocked by Meredith Baxter-Birney.
6. In high school, I was part of a performing folkdance troupe. We performed in places as exotic as Rochester, NY and Cleveland, OH.
7. My family got its first VCR in the summer of 1984. I spent a lot of time compiling music videos from TV on tape because we didn’t have cable and, thus, no MTV.
8. As an actor in high school productions, my most rewarding role was that of “Grandpa” Martin Vanderhof in “You Can’t Take it With You.”
9. My dad taught me how to program computers in BASIC in 1977. I was 5.
10. The first CD I ever purchased was “The Hurting” by Tears for Fears.
11. I’ve dressed up like “Silent Bob” on occasion. I can pass for him quite well.
12. I’ve also dressed up like “The Church Lady” on stage in front of my whole high school one year.
13. I usually have some sort of facial hair. I started growing in in 1996 — when my home was affected by Hurricane Fran. The power was out for a week and my bathroom had no external windows, so I just didn’t shave.
14. I had a mullet in high school — before they were even called that.
15. My first rock concert was a 60s reunion show featuring The Monkees, Herman’s Hermits, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and Bob Grill and Grass Roots.
16. The cheapest gasoline I ever remember pumping myself as a driver was 69.9 cents a gallon.
17. In college, I was a regular columnist both for the daily student newspaper and the monthly Jewish one.
18. My Jewish newspaper column was discovered by a friend to have appeared a month later in NYU’s Jewish culture magazine — with no acknowledgment that it had first been published elsewhere. Nor with the knowledge or permission of myself or the original newspaper’s publisher.
19. I’ve been run off the road by a drunk driver. A seatbelt likely saved my life and allowed me to walk away unharmed. The driver of the other vehicle was arrested when the police arrived to the scene.
20. As a kid, I couldn’t stand black olives; now I love them.
21. As a kid, I couldn’t stand green olives; I still think they’re disgusting.
22. I’ve camped out for concert tickets once. It was to see Yes in-the-round in 1991. Our tickets were ten rows back. It was worth sleeping outside.
23. I don’t regularly watch professional-level, major league sports. I’ve gone to baseball, hockey and basketball games of my hometown teams and I can follow along, but it just doesn’t maintain my interest.
24. I do, however, watch college football and basketball. Especially the ACC.
25. I’ve had sex leaning against a building which, seven years later, I would eventually work in.
26. I’ve shot an M16. One target exercise, ten rounds. I did pretty well. I haven’t shot any firearm from that point until today, over eighteen years later.
27. When I was 12 I won passes to see a sneak-preview of “The Breakfast Club” off of the local radio station. My parents wouldn’t let me go because the movie was rated R.
28. I went through a phase in elementary school where I was doing nothing but write song parodies.
29. I was invited into locker room of the Washington Bullets basketball team after their last home game of the 1994-95 season. I saw George Mureşan naked.
30. I’ve always loved Huey Lewis and the News — but, for a variety of reasons, I have never seen them live in concert.
31. I’ve been on two private, behind-the-scenes tours of the White House: one was during the Reagan administration (after my brother and his friend had a meet-and-greet with the president), and one was towards the end of the Clinton administration (after a former student of mine realized he would be out of a job soon, and wanted to get us all in for the tour before he was to leave).
32. I am an avid collector of cover songs and mashups.
33. Before I die, I’d like to drive every section of US 50 between Ocean City, MD and Sacramento, CA. So far I’ve done the eastmost 259 miles. Only 2814 to go…
34. I met my wife, socKs, in 1996 after corresponding online for several months. We realized, later on, that we had been in the same place at the same time in numerous instances dating back to 1986 — but we had never actually met.
35. I made socKs become a vegetarian for a month — by taking her challenge on a dare to eat a turkey sandwich. It was the best (and only) turkey sandwich I had eaten in years, as I had been a vegetarian for over a decade at that time.
36. When our son Avi was born, I cut the umbilical cord. Jewish law prescribed me to cut the foreskin off of his penis when he was eight days old; I opted to have that done by a professional in the field instead.
37. My favorite section of the supermarket is, hands down, frozen foods.
38. I have been in seven countries thus far: The United States of America, Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, the Czech Republic and Israel. I was in areas of the West Bank two weeks before autonomous rule of such areas were handed over to the Palestinian Authority.
39. I’ve had my ear pierced twice. Both times I simply didn’t like how it looked, so I took the earring out and let the hole close up.
40. I can identify just about any state or province in the USA or Canada by its area code.
41. I have a lot of respect for them and for their fans. But I simply don’t really like the Grateful Dead’s music. Sorry…
42. My favorite food of all time: fettucine alfredo. Alas, I don’t eat it anymore.
43. I spent a good year and a half of my life with (artificial) blonde highlights in my hair. It started when socKs was pregnant and couldn’t dye her own hair, so I decided to do it by proxy. And it stuck for a while after Avi was born.
44. I prefer boxers to briefs. In fact — haven’t worn briefs for a long, long time.
45. I drink lactose-free milk. I used to be lactose intolerant, but I don’t think it’s an issue with me so much anymore. I just happen to like the way it tastes — and the way the expiration date is far beyond that of regular milk.
46. I wish I could wear shorts to work. Well, I can during the summer on certain days. But I wish I could wear them all year ’round.
47. I’ve had a secret dream of doing radio / voice-over work. I suppose it’s not secret anymore…
48. My favorite competitive sport to play? Soccer, hands down.
49. I live close to DC and love it most of the time. I’ve taken advantage of it by attending rallies and marches and demonstrations on the National Mall in front of the Capitol — including, but not limited to, fighting to free Soviet Refusniks, promoting awareness of the genocide in Darfur, and supporting women’s rights. I also was part of a counter-demonstration in 1990 when the KKK was maching, which turned into a full-scale riot. I was hit by a police baton.
50. There’s one song whose opening hook keeps running through my head on a regular basis. The instrumentation is electronic and percussion-based. I don’t know how the rest of the song goes. I’ve been wondering what the song has been for the past few years, hoping that it will play sometime on the radio so I can finally figure out which song it is.