8 more random facts

Matt Tabor has tagged me with a meme in which I am supposed to list eight “random” things about myself. Actually, I’ve been involved with this meme already, but I was self-tagged, which (to me) felt like it didn’t really count. Since it’s been my secret desire to feel included in the blogosphere by being meme-tagged, and since Matt was kind enough to do so, I figured I’d list eight more random things about me.

1. My worst academic subject in junior high and high school, prior to taking AP Calculus, was math. I’m not really sure why this was the case, nor am I sure what happened in calculus to make the light bulb go off. I do know that my 7th-grade math teacher really had it in for me, for some reason, and maybe that tainted my approach for the next four years. And I had a really hard time keeping up with homework notebooks in trigonometry in the 11th grade which led to the only sub-B grade I ever made (C+). My best subjects in high school, in case you were wondering, were English and Latin.

 People 712 000115367 Wendell-Berry-12. I once not only met famed author and poet Wendell Berry, but I also nearly ran him over with my car on the same day. It was at a book-signing for his then-recently-released novel A World Lost . I was pulling in to the parking lot, talking to the friend I was with and not paying as much attention as I should have, when my friend suddenly said “Look out!” There was Wendell Berry with his publicist, right next to my bumper, stopping short just before they walked right into my path. I didn’t have the nerve to tell him at the signing that I was the idiot who almost committed vehicular homicide on him. I think he’s still alive today, despite my driving.

 Images Image 14811-Large3. All throughout high school and college, I was a huge and lifeless fan of the band YES. Huge. Lifeless. I collected everything, and I mean everything, they recorded, published, touched, or breathed upon. I once spent $20 at a trade show for a used backstage pass from the 90125 tour. In 1994, a friend and fellow fan tipped me off to the location of the hotel the band was staying at following a show. My friend and I raced to the hotel after the show and camped out in the lobby until thy arrived. I got to meet and get autographs from all of them. Jon Anderson, my musical hero up to that point, was disinterested and impolite. (Well, maybe a little freaked out too from these losers camping out in their hotel lobby.) Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin, on the other hand, were effusive and friendly, and I had a nice talk with Squire about the Nashville music scene. I even got a picture with him, which unfortunately I’ve misplaced since then. But after that meeting, I somehow lost all interest in the band — I had, I guess, gotten as deep as I could possibly get with YES fandom, and then stopped.

4. My dad was an engineer for NASA during the Gemini and early Apollo projects. He helped with the guidance systems for the spacecraft. Being an Air Force alum, he was initially going to try out for the astronaut program but didn’t make it due to a tendency to get motion sickness. He’s got some great pictures and anecdotes from those early days of NASA, including having met the Apollo 1 astronauts just months before their tragic deaths.

5. I have two cats, Starbuck and Sophie. Both are black cats from the Indianapolis humane society. My wife and I got them when we moved here in 2001. Starbuck is so named because she is all black with a little spot of cream on her chin — and all black with a little cream is how I like my coffee. She’s also named for the Battlestar Galactica reference and the Moby Dick reference. Sophie is long-haird and very soft, hence her name. Starbuck has an endearing-yet-annoying habit of sleeping on me when I am asleep at night.

 Products Original Warwick Thumbbo56. The bass guitar I play is a Warwick Thumb 5-string. It is a great instrument, even if it’s a bit temperamental — being solid wood, it’s subject to humidity and temperature the way that a lot of acoustic instruments are. A few years back when I made the leap from my beat-up 1976 Fender Precision (which I still have, though it doesn’t work right) to a pro-quality bass, I got the Warwick because I wanted to sound like Dave Matthews’ bass player. Surprisingly, I found, just owning the same bass as a professional player doesn’t make you as good as the player.

7. Grilling is my preferred mode of cooking, and I grill various things for dinner usually 2-3 times a week when the weather permits. Favorites around our place are my chili-lime grilled corn and grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce. (Love that salty, South American flavor.)

8. Bass players whose influence on my playing has been the greatest: Tony Levin, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney, Verdine White, Danyel Morgan.

Now let me pass the meme tagging on:

All these blogs are worth a look. My apologies to the proprietors if they’ve already done this meme. The rules for this game are:
1. Let others know who tagged you. 2. Players post 8 random facts about themselves. 3. Those who are tagged should post these rules with their 8 facts. 4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

Have fun!



Filed under Personal

5 responses to “8 more random facts

  1. Oh, goodie! Something with which to distract myself! Thanks!

    I didn’t know you played bass! I love acoustic instruments, myself. And since I got my Taylor, I learned that a really good instrument CAN make you sound “more” like your favorite artists, and can make your crappiest stuff sound better, so that’s a good thing. Expensive, but good, especially when you don’t have a regular gig.

  2. I think there’s definitely something to the notion of playing on the best instrument you possibly can. I played trumpet in high school for years on a crappy third-rate instrument and made all-state band three straight years, but the one time I played on a Bach Stradivarius silver horn it was like some really good player had suddenly possessed me. The Warwick bass does make me sound better than the old Fender does; it’s a particularly good fit for my playing style, as it’s a lot more like an acoustic instrument than most basses.

    Still, there’s that annoying “practice” thing.

  3. i like the new look…alot.

    will try to churn out 8 random facts about me right after i manage to discern the facts from the fictions….

  4. I agree about the new theme – this is sharp and highly functional. Good choice.

    I’ve really enjoyed this meme. It’s nice to bring a little more humanity to the blogosphere now and then. Also, I haven’t heard of anyone who’s been unhappy with anything made by Warwick. It’s top-notch stuff.

  5. Pingback: All My Thoughts on God :: What’s a Meme? :: July :: 2007