Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seven Things You Never Knew About Me

I never cared all that much for playing ‘tag’ as a kid, mostly because I wasn’t very good at it. Then again, maybe it was just that I always ended up playing the game with the wrong kind of kids — namely, ones that were bigger and faster than I was. I never seemed to be able to get away from them; to avoid being tagged. It seemed as though I was always ‘it.’

Well it looks like one of the big kids got me again — and this time I had a 2000 mile head start.

I had the distinct pleasure to meet the lovely and talented Will, A.K.A. Be the Boy, and his lovelier and brilliant better half, The Slackmistress this past summer in Los Angeles at the wedding of mutual blog friends Michael and Randi.

So now Will has tagged me to participate in a meme whose theme is ‘Seven Things You Never Knew About Me,’ and as he himself indicated in his meme post, it may be kinda tough, seeing as how I too have been blogging for a long time, and have pretty much shot my wad with all the deep, dark secrets.

Seven things you never cared to know about AJ, and forgot to ask...
So if you don’t mind a little minutiae, I’ll see if I can come up with a few more items that hopefully might resemble information you’ll find interesting.
  1. I am a distant relative (6th cousin to be exact) of a famous American war hero, one whose name is emblazoned upon numerous federal buildings and institutions across our great country. But history being the dying subject it is in our culture, I would say that you’d recognize his name if you heard it, however I find that it’s typically only folks my generation and older who have any sense of who this great man was or what he accomplished. But here’s a hint: An iconic Hollywood actor, whose name you WOULD recognize, in the 1940s portrayed him in a film about his extraordinary life.
  2. You may know that I saw the Beatles in concert in 1964, but my elder brother Jack saw them three times; twice in ’64 and once in ’65. And though my first concert ever was indeed a memorable one, it would be thirteen years later before I’d attend my second: Electric Light Orchestra at The Forum in Los Angeles in 1977.
  3. I came within one letter grade of flunking the 4th grade, but graduated high school with a 3.75 GPA. You can thank my stepmother, Maxine, for teaching (read: forcing) me to do my homework.
  4. Although the bulk of my professional life has been spent as a graphic designer/web designer, I came out of college an illustrator. My limited success in that profession included illustrating the Masters of the Universe characters that were featured as ‘puffy stickers’ inside boxes of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies during the fall of 1983.
  5. During the mid-90s, I was such a groupie for my favorite radio station, WRLT Lightning 100 in Nashville that I had a stretch of eleven consecutive months in which I was a ‘call-in’ winner of various on-air contests from 1995-96. During those years I was working from home and had the radio on all day long. I had a system.

    I won stereo equipment, concert tickets, and many, many CDs.

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that it was in the midst of that streak that the station first instituted their current policy of ‘a maximum of one win every 30 days’ in regard to their contests.

    Geeze Louise…I can’t hep it if I’m good…
  6. This one’s not about me, but I’ve always thought it was waaaay cool: My father-in-law was one of the lead engineers for the Apollo program at Cape Canaveral, FL. He was actually the last person to leave the project after it closed shop in favor of the space shuttle program in the mid 1970s; he was charged with the responsibility of closing the books on the whole shebang.

    He followed that historic assignment with nearly a decade of work with the U.S. military in its top secret project of placing the satellites in orbit that now comprise the GPS network we all use on a daily basis, but which was one of those things at the time about which he’d joke, “I could tell you what I do, but then I’d have’ta kill ya.”

    He’s a great man, and I’m proud to know him.
  7. Lastly, it’s probably not fair to talk about only the ‘cool’ facts about myself, so this is probably as good a place as any to offer a little nugget that I’m rather embarrassed to admit, but to which I can’t help but self-deprecate, ‘cuz it is kinda funny.

    My folks (well, let’s say, my Mom to be exact) wanted a little girl in the worst way, which is one reason there were five of us kids in my family — but all were boys. After my two eldest brothers’ came along, Mom & Dad just kept on tryin’ for the girl that would never come. Their next child was another boy (my brother Kenny); oh well. They decided to give it one more try, and out came AJ. Evidently, I was really supposed to be that girl (my younger brother Alex, four years later, was unplanned).

    Undaunted, when I was a toddler my mother would dress me up like a girl and just gush about how cute I was. They took pictures that I remember seeing when I was a kid, which I’m currently trying to find and destroy.

    Fortunately she never took me out in public dressed in drag, but I do remember well the teasing from my brothers. Oye.

    And then, as if by some cruel twist of fate, I turned out to be about the height of the average woman anyway. And as somewhat of a byproduct, I don’t have the deepest of speaking voices either.

    I often get telephone calls from solicitors and others who don’t know me, who routinely assume they’re speaking to ‘Missus’ rather than ‘Mister’ upon my answering the phone. It used to bug me — a lot — and I was always quick to curtly point out the error of their assumptions. However in recent years I’ve just learned to accept it (and to try and answer the phone in my best James Earl Jones whenever possible).

    But all things considered, I‘d rather talk like Michael Jackson than trade away the life I’ve been privileged to live.

    I have no complaints.
So there you have my seven things; let’s hear yours:

The Rules:

  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged.
Okay...You’re IT!

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