Ten Additional Things I Have Done That You (Probably) Haven’t
Posted on October 28, 2013 Posted by John Scalzi 215 Comments
Continuing an occasional feature on this site. Previous installments here, here and here.
1. Been hit by a car (specifically, a Ford Pinto), breaking my leg
2. Written award show banter for a successful comedian (this one — he was the emcee for some AOL-specific awards in the 90s; I was AOL’s in-house writer)
3. Received an animation cel from Don Bluth (from Thumbelina)
4. Caught a living fish in my front yard (I released it into the nearby creek)
5. Inspired a weapon in a video game (that I did not have a hand in creating)
6. Had one of my adult teeth come in twice (right incisor, if I remember correctly)
7. Invented a pie
8. Received 11pm phone calls from Harlan Ellison, twice
9. Made out with a girl on the porch of a National Historical Landmark (this one)
10. Had a painting I commissioned appear on a popular television show (frame from said episode)
Have your own list of ten things you’ve done that other people (probably) haven’t? Add the list into the comment thread (or write them on your own site and add a link).
Concerning 1: Does a broken shoulder count when being hit by a car? With that i would get 2/10 ;-) Not bad, eh?
So having made out with a girl on the porch of a National Historic Landmark, John Scalzi links to a picture, not of the girl, but of the landmark.
Those geek credentials seem to be well-established ….
Damn it, Mr. Scalzi, you are more awesome than I could ever possibly be.
John Barnes: Exactly what I was thinking. :)
I lead such an uninteresting life …
“hit by a car (specifically, a Ford Pinto),”
Did it explode?
I jumped on a train (hobo style) with two friends and rode it 170 miles into Virginia on a dare and then had to hitchhike back to my ship the following day to make muster Monday morning. We had a total of $6.50 between the 3 of us and it started raining first thing Sunday morning and continued all that day and night. We made it back around midnight. Great story and I’m Never doing that again.
I don’t have ten things that I’ve done that it’s unlikely anyone else (reading this – I was not alone) has done, but I’ve thought of a few:
(1) I have gone from a 200 degree (F) sauna to -106 (F) outside, and run a circle around the geographic south pole.
Wearing only a pair of boots.
(2) I was a ‘cast member’ for the Rocky Horror Picture Show for three years. I’ve played every part at least once, To this day, I can still quote through large chunks of the movie from memory (I haven’t gone in nearly 20 years – I’m old enough then, that I think it would be a bit creepy…)
(3) I’ve been a (volunteer) radio DJ – and (at the same station) the ‘chief engineer’ – that was actually a paid position, but PT minimum wage. I was doing it because we needed *someone* to devote more than just volunteer time to maintaining the equipment.
While I’ve done other things in my life, they are things that I think are much more common…
1. Had my photography featured on their website by a local National Public Radio affiliate.
2. Been to the Headwaters of both the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers.
3. Stood on a Glacier (Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park)
4. Had a Professor whose experiment (in aquaculture) wound up on a space shuttle mission
5. Ridden every line of the NYC Subway at least one stop, and many to full length.
6. Worn a kilt at a Scottish Renaissance Faire
7. Played laser tag in a cemetery
8. Hit a tombstone with a car
9. Been to a *triple* Continental Divide (at a spot on US 53 near Hibbing, Minnesota)
10. Been tuckerized into a book (The Exiled Blade by Jon C. Grimwood features a “Captain Weimer”)
Did the calls from Harlan Ellison start courteously or with a stream of expletives?
1. Almost cut my earlobe off as a child (now I have a nifty scar.)
2. Broke my ankle in two places in middle school. A week later my brother broke his. Between the two of us we have a pair of good legs.
Not much else has happened.
I’ve had brain surgery–17 times. Yeah, that’s more than ten, but I don’t know very many ppl who can top that number.
I did number 6. The dentist, who had very bad chairside manner, called me and my mother liars and declared this never happens. We found a new dentist.
I would not want number 8 to happen to me. You have my sympathy. Did he call to claim that Old Man’s War was a rip off of his brilliant script for something?
1. Cold-called Janet Asimov for no reason other than I was a brash teenager stuck at La Guardia and figured, “Hey, I bet *she’s* listed.” She was, under her professional name. And she was very lovely, which should not be construed as encouragement to do this.
2. Had an official job title of “Czar.”
3. Received lifetime teaching certifications in both mathematics and Latin.
4. Slept under the beneficent gaze of the Velvet Wesley.
5. Crossed an international border and slept in a ferry terminal just to see my favorite polka band.
6. Got eaten alive by mosquitos inside the Arctic Circle.
7. Drove nonstop (except for biological and fuel-related necessities) from Woodbury, Minnesota to Perry, Oklahoma. (I mention this only because no one with any sanity would voluntarily stop in Perry; I was simply too exhausted to keep driving safely.)
8. Played bassoon in my middle and high school bands, and tenor sax in high school as well (because we didn’t march double reeds).
9. Worked for two summers on the janitorial team in an ice cream manufacturing plant.
10. Caught a shark on July 4 quite a few years back while standing on the North Padre Island beach. (My buddy caught TWO.)
I invented a pie once. I called it a plagiarism pie. The recipe is exactly the same as your pie, only made with off brand ingredients and thinned down a bit to be more watery. I also added a cherry on top to pretend it is different.
Had seven stitches without anaesthetic, just to see what it felt like (not that bad).
Sat in the chair of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (in the courtroom — I don’t know where the bailiffs were).
Been in a teenage knife fight (although the other guy had a tire iron).
Won an award named after Canada’s official hangman, back when we had one.
Broke my ankle in two places while housesitting in Cyprus. When the homeowner came back, she complained about the state of the house.
Clearly, I lead a very, very boring life. Well, I already knew that (accountants as a demographic group do not tend to be the type to generate interesting stories, and if they are, you’d probably better sell your stock in the companies they audit), but this emphasizes it with just a little more flair and panache than usual.
I think the only things I can claim that might be even slightly unusual would be that I had joint-replacement surgery in my 30s (replacing a hip joint that was defective from birth) and the fact that I am still joyfully, ecstatically, hilariously partnered with the same person after nearly four decades. I wouldn’t wish the former on anyone, but I hold the wistful hope that perhaps the latter might some day become more common than it seems to be now.
1. Was hit by a car. (When I was 4, broke my collar bone, like a boss)
2. Broke my ankle by jumping ~3 feet to the ground and landing on a basketball that rolled underneath me as I jumped.
3. Got clotheslined by a tree while riding my bike and had a minor concussion
4. Cut my finger and had to get stitches within 5 minutes of receiving a pocket knife for Christmas from my grandpa.
5. Had to get stitches in my forehead because I tried to turn a ceiling fan off from a bunkbed.
6. Broke my arm after tripping playing basketball (not a good sport for me)
7. Was once visited by CPS (for having visited the emergency room several times)
8. Slept on an abandoned hiking trail in Normandy, France in the rain because the campground I was hiking too closed at the ridiculous hour of 5pm.
9. Was in a car with two Germans and an Italian and accidentally made a joke about D-Day.
10. I once met John Scalzi at a signing and went full on blubbery fanboy. (probably not that unique of an experience)
1. Lived in a country while the Russian army invaded.
2. Got interrogated by East German border guards.
3. Slept on the pavement of the Champs Elysees,
4, Ran into someone I knew from college in the Vatican Museum. (Surprised the hell out of me, too; I had last heard he was living in Hawaii.)
5. Received postal mail from Fiji.
6. Interviewed Carl Sagan and Tom T. Hall.
7. Shook hands with a billionaire.
8. Visited the White House Situation Room.
9. Had a horse collapse under me in Mongolia during a snow storm.
10. Held originals of formerly secret KGB, NKVD and Cheka documents.
Apparently, I’m just a late starter. For 61 years, nothing. Now, at age 62, I’ve applied to be an astronaut on Mars One, I’m doing the Dopey Challenge in Orlando (a 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon on four consecutive days in January), I put in my application for a nude scene in a movie, and I just published my first book (tho not as good as any of Scalzi’s). I’m making up for lost time. This list is giving me lots of ideas!
Here’s my list:
1. Get hit by a car and walk away with no injuries.
2. Tutor someone successfully in a subject you’ve never studied. (I’ve actually done this twice, once in business statistics and once in introductory astronomy.)
3. Worked as a candlemaker.
4. Had to change the location of my wedding 6 weeks before the date, because the church double booked.
5. Been treated for a broken finger by an organic chemistry professor. (She was also a nurse, before she got her PhD).
6. Had a tooth drilled without novocaine, for fear of needles.
7. Taught an adult to ride a bicycle.
8. Invented an equation. (Although I never got credit for it).
9. Taught myself to write backwards (mirror writing) and then took all my notes like that for an entire year, just because I was bored.
10. Spent a summer doing research at a national lab.
Hah! I was hit by a car and didn’t break anything.
I am officially more durable than John Scalzi!
I once stood in a ~~2,300 year old grave. (The original occupant had already been *extremely* carefully removed.)
When I graduated from high school, the principal made a point of announcing that I had a perfect attendance record … all the way back to 4th grade.
On the morning of January 1st, 2000, a friend and I goaded each other to go skinny-dipping in the North Atlantic. (Yes, there are pictures and no, I will not post them.)
[delurk] Heh okay, I’ll play along!
1. Stood three feet from Russell Crowe and had my brain damn near fall out of my head as a result.
2. Commenced a re-read of The Hobbit in three languages at once.
3. Run a successful Kickstarter. (Still working on the delivering of the rewards!)
4. Started active study of a language just because of falling in love with an entire genre of music (i.e., studying French because of Quebecois trad). Also, musicgeeked with several Quebec musicians, and had my picture taken with them. With a toy woolly mammoth. Like ya DO.
5. Broken my arm in a bicycle accident.
6. Held first chair of the flute section in my school band, and continued to play flute into my adulthood.
7. Published more than one novel (although I grant that our gracious host is way, way ahead of me on this, and several names I regularly see in the comments here are as well ;) ).
8. Taken up use of a pen name just because my actual name is too damned weird to spell.
9. Had my picture taken with the lead singer of Great Big Sea, even if it took me thirteen years to ask him for it to his face.
10. Went to Canada to get married to my partner of 25 years, along with two other women ALSO getting married, and surprised my partner and our friends by getting Le Vent du Nord to sing us a special request encore! (That was awesome. :D )
For the record, the conversations with Mr. Ellison were delightful both times.
(I have spoken to him at more reasonable hours as well, and those conversations were good too.)
I’ve done nothing really interesting so far. The most interesting thing in my life was an extreme birdwatching competition that I did this year. My team picked up a Gull-Billed Tern in Forsythe-Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge, which was the highest point so far of my seventeen-plus years of existence. Not a great track record, so far, given that my most interesting experience was seeing a robin-sized bird from across more than a quarter mile of mudflats and grass. .
I put mine on my site — great idea! http://www.puredoxyk.com/index.php/2013/10/28/ten-things-ive-done/
Here’s an abridged version:
1. Almost died one random day from a sudden rupture in my guts.
2. Shot a fish on breath-hold under fifty feet of water
3. Free-solo’d a thousand-foot cliff face to see the Anasazi ruins at the top
4. Lived on the Uberman schedule for six months
5. Spent 22 hours in labor
6. Road-tripped almost the entire length of Route 66 on a motorcycle
7. Studied under a Shaolin monk
8. Had my tongue pierced
9. Urban-explored my way from the sub-basement all the way to the very top (not just the fourteenth floor or the roof, but the top of the ladder on the smokestack on the roof) of the famous abandoned train station in Detroit
10. Presented a paper to an audience of PhDs when I was an undergrad (and I should add that irrespective of everything else on this list, I still get heart palpitations when I remember this one!!)
@ Marie: My mom spent over three days in labor with me. Yes, really. And then I didn’t sleep more than an hour a day until I was five.
I was not an easy baby.
#9 – Historical landmark – Does making out in front of the Lego architecture series version of the Robie House count LOL
I have also caught a fish in my front yard. It was with a net and not a pole though AND I just put it back in the pond after checking its health.
I have been hit by a car twice. No broken bones though.
I finished a 13 mile spartan beast race
I had lunch with robin quivers in NYC at a vegan restaurant
…. Shoot. That’s all I got! I fail
Wrote by hand a list of all of the combinations of the non-repeating digits 0-9.
Swam across a creek wearing a t-shirt, floor-length skirt, and woolen clogs. This was also trespassing.
Woke up alone in a bus parked in front of an unfamiliar house. The context makes this less cool, so I’m leaving it as is.
1. Flew from LAX to Memphis on the same plane as Michael Jackson, at the same time.
2. Was given a goldfish by a stranger in a small town in Japan.
3. Was chauffeured to a concert by the musician I was in the country to see.
4. Drove from PA to WA in less than 48 hours.
5. Ate fermented fish intestines in three countries.
6. Performed in the world premiere of a modern dance show.
7. Earned $1000 for two words (my largest “writing” sale to date.)
8. Attacked by lettuce on my birthday, ended up in the emergency room to get 2 inches of stitches, and then went out to dinner.
9. Hold the record for youngest state Congressional page in the US.
10. Attended an office party catered by a celebrity chef that included adult film stars as employees. Twice.
1. Was the first female sabre champ, VA division of USFA.
2. Have had 16 perfectly healthy teeth pulled–8 baby teeth, 4 permanent adult teeth, 4 wisdom teeth–solely to make room in my mouth for the rest of the teeth. (In fairness, everyone in my family has this done. I don’t know what the hell my ancestors did before modern dentistry. They must have been hideous.)
3. Turned into She-hulk to stop a semi-riot at the south gate of the Taj Mahal (in India). No, not literally green, but it did involve flinging people around and order was re-established when I was done.
4. Driven over/through every bridge and tunnel in New York City, with the exception of the zillion streets b/t the Bronx and Manhattan over the Harlem River. Because seriously.
5. Did 110 mph on the NYState Thruway while my dad was asleep in the passenger seat. In a 1970s Ford station wagon.
Occupy the space and time I currently do at the time or writing this comment.
1. Wrote an article about a fantasy creature (zombies) that was wildly successful and ruffled so many feathers, someone made a 10 minute youtube video to decry it.
2. Hit a moose on an icy road and walked away unscathed (the moose was scathed to death, however)
3. Was told I was funny by The Tweet of God twitter account.
4. Grilled an entire turkey in a regular bucket-style charcoal grill.
5. Got the hair guy (Giorgio Tsoukalos) from Ancient Aliens to throw a fit and insult me by asking him a simple question. (I screen-capped it)
6. Ate food from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and KFC in one sitting (6.5. and survived)
7. Suffered severe head trauma and not only didn’t pass out, but managed to call 911 myself despite blood loss.
8. Beat Terramorphous from Borderlands 2 single-handedly
9. Have nearly cut off parts of 4 fingers on my left hand on 3 separate occasions.
10. Just walked away from my abusive, thoughtless family. Stopped talking to them in 2006 and never looked back.
Bonus: 11. Am alive and relatively healthy at age 37 despite 2, 6, 7 and 9.
Wow, you people are amazing. This is making me think of how boring I must be. I know lots of people who would have amazing lists but I don’t have any. I always seem to be the person with the crazy adventures. Hmmm, new bucket list forming.
I managed to break my finger while opening the door to McDonalds. Not because the door closed on it or anything normal like that. it got caught in the handle and snapped to the side and broke off a little sliver of bone. I am possibly the only person around who can break a finger while trying to get a damn cheeseburger.
But by comparison, my life has been drab and boring. I think the solution is to get hit by more cars…
1. Walked round the top of Cheddar Gorge 91 times so far this year
2. Given a talk about how to have a successful sales stand at the Tehran Book Fair to a publishing industry meeting (followed by listening to a talk by Gorbachev’s literary agent)
3. Received a hand-written note from Arthur C Clarke thanking me for a copy of Interzone I sent him with my first published short story in it
4. Seen a public beheading – an official, government-authorised one – from my hotel window (the Red Sea Palace in Jeddah)
5. Dislocated my kneecaps four times (three on one knee, once on the other)
6. Had a holiday job turning over 60lb truckles of farmhouse cheddar cheese in a large cheese warehouse
7. Stood in Wells High Street as the body of Harry Patch – The Last Fighting Tommy, the last surviving soldier to fight in the trenches of WWI – was taken past in procession from his old people’s home to Wells Cathedral for his funeral service.
8. First flew at six months of age while being (briefly) evacuated from the 1958 Lebanon Crisis.
9. Bumped into a girl I had had a crush on at age 10 at school ten years later and 2000 miles away in a university politics lecture in a different country.
10. Had my hand only – as a stand-in hand – appear in two movies (on Jonathan Lipnicki’s shoulder in The Little Vampire, and wielding a gun in Nine Miles Down)
1. Seen the “snake of light” at the equinox at Chichen Itza. 2. Played with seal cubs underwater while diving the Farne islands. 3. Been serenaded on stage by Professor Elemental. 4. Been a beta reader for David Gullen, Gaie Sebold and Francis Knight. 5. Handed out chocolate coins to strangers and escaped the brussels sprouts barrage from fellow Santas during London Santacon. 6. Spent 5 months living on a farm in Italy doing a pottery apprenticeship. 7. In a short stint in a TV art department, got told off by director for coming up with stupid idea for simulated leg waxing. 8. Snorkelled with basking sharks and manta rays (not at the same time). 9. Been far too close to a rhinoceros while on a guided walk in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal. 10. Joined in the winter solstice druidic ceremony at Stonehenge.
Love these, Here goes:
Because it’s a popular start: 1. I’ve been run over by the fourwheeler I was driving
2. I’ve been the victim of a hit and fly accident (that parasailer just kept going after he struck my vehicle–and for the record, when it falls out of the sky to hit my car, it’s not my fault!).
3. I’ve held the Hope Diamond in my grubby grad student hand.
4. I’ve watched six foot sturgeons swimming through a vineyard after a flood. We had to use a backhoe to get them back to the waterways.
5. Worked in a pit crew for a Formula Ford car (not pro, but still pretty fun).
6. Driven in a real Tin Lizzy
7. I’ve been through the house of an actual axe murderer.
8. I’ve been riding a horse who tripped while racing, did three cartwheels and came to a stop on top of me–No injury
9. I’ve fenced in the nationals (not actually as hard as you think since it’s a really big tournament)
10. Broken down on the same street twice in the same day despite traveling well over a hundred miles between (19th Ave in SF, FTR)
1) Sang in the American embassy in Paris.
2) Had Jim Butcher rewrite parts of his work based on my feedback. (My shoulder is still sore from the dislocation that happened while patting myself on the back for this.)
3) Seen a cat get shocked by an electric fence. (Cat was perfectly fine, just spooked as hell; BIG cat.)
4) Been waist-deep in a swamp at midnight on New Year’s Eve, pulling out a cow that was stuck.
5) Attended two high school graduations on successive evenings on opposite sides of the continent.
6) Gotten two parking tickets on the same day in locations about 100 feet from each other.
7) Mixed and drank gin-and-tonics at night on the closed-to-the-public wall of a historic fort.
8) Sat on top of the Berlin Wall with an East German guard eyeballing me.
9) Covered a Presidential press conference for the local paper.
10) Backup singer for Andy Williams at a Christmas concert.
NB: Not one of these is anywhere near as dramatic as it sounds.
Ah, no, re my number 2 before, I remember it was Boris Yeltsin’s literary agent I was listening to (and it was pretty funny), not Gorbachev’s.
1.Was driven three hours to Raven’s Grin Inn in Mt. Carroll, IL, without knowing where I was going, with a guy I’d just met on Craigslist. Had a wonderful time.
2. Broke my (hard) contact in two pieces while it was still in my eye. I’d thrown a hairbrush into the air to catch it; the tip of the handle came down right in the eye. Removed both pieces without injury.
Here’s my List:
1, Climbed Mt Everest on my Grandmother’s stairs when I was eight.
2. Pulled out my brother’s front tooth using a door knob.
3. Lay out on my front lawn with my best friend in the middle of the night. We looked up at the stairs, which were brilliant that night, named all of the constellations and discussed to cosmos.
4. Had a Lumbar Puncture also known as a Spinal Tap.
5. Although it’s a fairly common procedure ,it’s pretty rare in that not all women get them and men don’t get them at all: a total hysterectomy.
6. Worked as a janitor in a Public Recreation Center. I was the only woman.
7.I’m a late starter. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 35.
I always find that the things I think are somewhat normal are the things that people find the most amazing. But I have a few:
1) Last week, I stood inside the penstock at Grand Coulee Dam where no one has been for the last 40 years since they installed the turbines.
2) I’ve been in the building where they purified Plutonium for atomic bombs while a criticality alarm went off (false alarm as you can tell because I’m still alive)
3) This is probably more common than you think but still something I’m proud of: I saved someone’s life (attempted suicide)
4) I went to an all 8 grades in one classroom school for all of grade school – taught by my dad.
5) I wrote a bill that became law
6) Despite never having been in the military, I’ve flown in and piloted an AT-6.
Engineering is an awesome career!
1. Been run over by a bicycle. Yes, a bicycle. My elbows and knees were horribly skinned and the crucifix I was wearing embedded in my chin. I find that last part to be symbolic for a man who’s an atheist now.
2. Been in a staff fighting tournament and became fast friends with the guy whose nose I nearly broke.
3. Had a short story published in a scifi anthology.
4. Have a double nationality. I suppose that’s pretty rare.
5. Been effectively homeless for a little over 48 hours. Wasn’t as scary as it could have been thanks to good friends.
Yeah, I guess I’m pretty boring.
Ooh, I’ll play!
1. Sung opera in the full female vocal range, from contralto to high (and coloratura) soprano.
2. Got married (the first time) at a Rocky Horror showing.
3. Had my own radio show at 14.
4. Attended a year of choir, theatre and lit mag classes at a high school I wasn’t enrolled in.
5. Got married (the second time) in New Orleans during its first deep freeze in decades.
6. Planned and executed a three-week driving tour of the UK without any travel agent help, when I’d never even been across the Atlantic before.
7. Performed in a Wild West show, which included wielding a gun, at 11.
8. Had Bill Clinton speak at my college graduation while he was still president.
9. Lived in three cities at the same time, commuting back and forth as needed (college internship FTW!)
10. Got busy in the parking lot of a church in a random town just off I-80.
This list is from 2005, and I have done many interesting things since then, but, still, this list is pretty good. Maybe next time, I’ll think of ten new things.
1. Been issued a criminal trespass warning…for “breaking into” the University of Houston band hall.
2. Originated the role of Dr. Zook in Butter Battle. (2a. Been in a Star Wars fan film.)
3. Met Norm Macdonald at a Lake Tahoe casino and Mischa Barton at JFK airport. (3a. Caught a rubber severed foot thrown by Chuck Palahniuk.) (3b. Met Terry Pratchett and Neal Stephenson on consecutive days.) (3c. Had a conversation with Dar Williams.) (3d. Had Sean Stewart address me by name in a Puppet Master chat.)
4. Dislocated my shoulder on a football field…but not from playing football. (4a. Accidentally jumped off a stage in front of a live audience.) (4b. Lacerated my ear by running full force into a stone column.) (4c. All in the same school year.)
5. Won $1000—the top and only prize—for a short story judged by professional writers…and won $150—second place—for the same story judged by grad students.
6. Danced in the streets of Bardoli, India.
7. Helped fund a Tegan and Sara music video.
8. Developed a lasting friendship with a girl I met at a movie theater.
9. Participated in a national folk dance competition…twice.
10. Growled in the face of the president of Rice University, who—wearing a black cloak, black hat, orange face paint, and fake fangs—had grabbed my shoulders and growled in my face…all while I was wearing nothing more than shoes, socks, a watch, and shaving cream.
1) Been bitten by a zebra.
2) Played a drinking game with a maiko. And won.
3) Had Thanksgiving dinner at the mansion of the mayor of Osaka.
4) Helped haul a mikoshi up a mountain, surrounded by fire.
Well, that’s four, which is more than I thought I’d be able to come up with.
1. Ridden in an elevator with a world chess champion.
2. Sat in the cockpit of a B 25 bomber
3. Co-authored a paper in the “Astrophysical Journal.”
4. Made someone vomit by farting
5. Been retweeted by @wilw (@scalzi has, many times, but not the rest of you!)
6. Had three kids born on Oct. 3rd; they are not triplets
7. Knew Harry Stubbs personally (“Hal Clement” to the rest of you plebes)
8. Been quoted in the NY Times (once), and Boston Globe (thrice!)
9. Landed an airplane, safely.
10. Managed the computer of a Nobel Laureate at the time of his discovery (Reiss, 2011 Physics)
OK, I’ve been prompted to a few memories on reading the lists!
1. Attended Winston Churchill’s state funeral when I was five. I still remember the sailors hauling the coffin up the slope of Fleet Street.
2. Lost three contact lenses one after the other in my bathroom (no, I have not got three eyes! One was a spare.)
3. Found all three of the lost contact lenses within 20 minutes.
4. Attended (in person) the annual Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph in London. (They use the tallest Household Guards soldiers as pointsmen. They are BIG!)
5. Passed the Bronze Medal standard in fencing at school, aged 18. (It’s the basic standard so nothing special but I was pleased.)
6. Was confirmed in St Paul’s Cathedral (an unusual privilege).
7. My baptism certificate was signed by one of the (then) Priests in Ordinary to the Queen. (OK, I didn’t do that myself so it probably doesn’t count.)
8. Asked a question at a panel of Scots s-f writers which Iain Banks couldn’t answer; he passed to to Ken McLeod.
1 built a guitar
2 built a rifle
3 dove in an alligator infested swamp
4 driven over 150 mph in a street car
5 crossed a national border without informing customs
6 worked as a bodyguard for a prostitute.
7 driven on the highest roadway in the us and the lowest in the same week.
8 been hit by a car, knocked flying, and walked away unharmed.
9 bench pressed over 400 pounds
10 Walked 20 miles in 108 degree heat.
1: Memorized Pi to 7 places!
2. Was cursed out by a superior court judge at 3:00 a.m.
3. Won comment of the week at a popular legal blog
4. Ended up in the wrong country after being on the wrong half of a train that split to take different routes and was “escorted” back by nice polish officers with very large guns.
5. Was trespassed from a royal garden after sneaking over the fence in the middle of the night because it was the way I’d come through before it closed and didn’t know how else to get back to the hostel. Bobbies were very polite and didn’t even use the sticks.
6. Had a Stand By Me moment and fled from a train over a bridge after deciding to take a different way home after a night out at the bars.
7. Been stalked by an Amish teenager until her father packed up the barn and moved to a different state.
8. Was chased down a mountain in the Alps by a wolf.
9. Had a professional rating in Table Tennis.
10. Eaten a meal for two that was more expensive than my mortgage.
1. Took a taxi from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in the middle of the night. (We had to provide Red Bull for the driver when he seemed likely to fall asleep at the wheel and veer off the road.)
2. Had to bribe an Indian hotel clerk to get back my brother’s backpack (which had such unimportant things like passports and money in it).
3. Partied with a couple Polish metalheads in a bar in Krakow. We became acquainted when they saw me singing along to the Iron Maiden playing in the bar. We bonded over our mutual dislike for System of a Down. Metal transcends language and culture barriers.
4. Have seen Clinton, W, and Obama in person.
5. Since someone else posted something similar, I’ve had 13 teeth pulled. I missed his/her record of 16, sadly.
6. Worked on an Alaskan oyster farm.
7. Took a 777 from Chicago to Denver on which one of the doors was literally sealed with duct tape.
8. Made an emergency landing in Juneau Airport in a plane too large for the airport. The ensuing takeoff was full power and at a ridiculously steep angle to keep from smacking into the mountains at the end of the runway.
9. Had a few beers at the Leopold Cafe in Mumbai that was a target of a terror attack in 2008.
10. Played poker for money in a monastery in northern Luxembourg.
Kind of boring compared to some, but not bad, I think.
Second part of the list…
11 Worked as a body diver (not related to the alligators.)
12 interviewed at nasa in the NBL
13 built a computer network involving multiple locations and over 200 computers
15 had someone give me a password to a federal network against my will.
16 swam in crude oil (related to alligators)
17 been in a car that rolled over without being injured
18 shot a .50 BMG sniper rifle
19 skinned a rabbit
20 given myself the hemilic maneuver.
I could only come up with 8…
1. Sang in a performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” in Tokyo, while pregnant
2. Shared a Snickers bar with a famous opera singer
3. Took a tour of the real Willy Wonka Candy Factory outside Chicago (did not see any Oompa Loompas)
4. Attended a lesbian wedding in Toronto during Worldcon 2003
5. Took photos of Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis holding my baby
6. Drove through a snowstorm in Death Valley
7. In “Star Wars: A New Hope” when C3PO and R2D2 have stopped the garbage compactor from squishing Our Heroes, and Luke yells to them over the intercom which compactor it is so that they can open the doors, he yells a seven-digit number. At one point during high school my friends and I went, “hey wait, phone numbers also have seven digits.” So yes, I dialed that number and asked for Luke.
8. Got tattoos in five different US States before the age of 30.
Skipped #14 on a ten list.
1. Was given a cover quote for my (co-written with a friend) book by Sir Terry Pratchett (“These guys might be sane, for certain values of sane”).
2. Been sent to A&E with a note from military doctor saying “Hit in head with spear, probable concussion”.
3. Had a brown bear knock on the door of the tiny mountain cabin I was all alone in.
4. Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden fame) held my sword (not an euphemism) and showed it off to his son.
5. Swam in 50 meters of ice floes without survival suit.
6. Participated in the burning of a Viking ship.
7. Played and fought as a Templar knight in a BBC drama.
8. Been model for three different people in the samme RPG book illustration.
9. Lived in a house that hadn’t been modernised since 1870.
10. Tickled trout.
1. I went to the Bahamas and got bitten by a sea bass while swimming in the lagoon at Great Stirrup Cay.
2. Received a very nice mid-afternoon phone call from Harlan Ellison about my undergraduate senior thesis.
3. Had to spend six weeks in a wheelchair because I can’t stand on crutches.
4. Won the bronze medal in my division in dressage, national level.
5. Got to go to Israel on a business trip.
6. Conducted a multi-year long-distance relationship with someone five time zones away.
7. Broke an engagement (of marriage).
8. Met Princess Anne’s then-husband (Mark Phillips) and talked horses with him.
9. Talked to an Israeli cab driver in Jerusalem in French; his French was better than mine.
10. Found my biological mother online using nothing more than her name. (I have not contacted her.)
1) jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, on purpose, 26 times
2) broke a bone (not the same one) in 3 consecutive years
3) climbed the pyramid at Chitzen Itza
4) been bumped by a manta ray, at night
5) shook hands with an astronaut (Storey Musgrave)
6) been in 14 of the 24 time zones
well 6 isn’t bad
Wow, great lists! Here’s a few of my own favorites:
1. Photographed jaguars in the Pantanal region of Brazil.
2. Been through the eye of a hurricane.
3. Been sent a robot to test by someone who worked at NASA.*
4. Stood on the top level of the Pont du Gard.
5. Been evicted (very politely) from my chosen beach spot by a sea lion.
6. hiked one of the rougher parts of the Appalachian trail during the aftermath of a hurricane (different hurricane than #2).
7. had a panoramic photo from Tierra del Fuego published in a 6ft by 9ft atlas.
8. Climbed to the top of Wayna Picchu (the peak that everybody thinks is Machu Picchu).
*N.B. NOT one of NASA’s robots
1. Narrowly avoided a high-altitude entanglement during a mass-tactical parachute jump. (It’s not good when you can feel the canopy of the jumper ahead of you in your face.)
2. Have a counter in a popular wargame (Advanced Squad Leader) with my name on it.
3. Played said wargame with a multiple World Series-winning major-league baseball player.
4. Sung on-stage with two future Broadway actors. (This was in high school, so less awesome than it sounds. Very much less awesome given my singing voice.)
5. Shaken the hand of survivors of the Holocaust and the Bataan Death March.
6. Commanded an armored vehicle being driven through the streets of Dallas (for a parade).
7. Stopped an international hacking attack (with the help of the tech guys at an ISP in Finland).
Been cited in the supporting material for the Nobel Prize in Physics (the 2007 award, and in fact our group’s work was cited more times than the actual honorees’)
* Rode on an ancient helicopter full of Marines, careening wildly at tree-top level.
* Recovered the corpse of a man who had drowned… four days prior. You wouldn’t believe the colors unless you saw it yourself.
* Broke my wrist playing cornerback in an American football game, then played the rest of the game.
* Watched in horror as my eight-year-old daughter accosted Steve Jobs on the show floor of MacWorld. (I was an Apple employee at the time.)
* Stayed in a house whose original timbers were laid in 1370. (It was my grandparents’ home.)
* Wrote a program for the original Macintosh that sold eight copies.
* Carried buckets of water from the stream behind our house so we could use the bathroom. (The power was out to the well.)
* Did a voiceover appearance as Dan Rather reporting on a protest involving a giant condom stretched over the rotunda of a state capitol. (I still remember the phrase ‘enormous prophylactic’.)
* Had a recruiter call me to ask if I knew anything about Apple Help, and I replied that I wrote the book. (I did, too.)
* Had a cooling hose blow out in my car as I traveled down US 101 in California. I watched the cloud of steam streaming from under the hood as the temp climbed on the gauge. I pulled over, waited for the steam to dissipate, said “Please, Lord, let me get home.” Whereupon the temp immediately dropped back into the normal range and I was able to drive the three miles home without mishap or apparent damage to the car.
Patel from Hell… that sounds like it was Malcolm Gillis. :)
1. Landed a major role in a musical in college, even though I can’t really sing.
2. Ate dinner in a Presidential Library
3. Won second place in an amateur ballroom competition while leading my 6’6″ tall partner (of more than 2 couples)
4. Put a foot into the Arctic Ocean while there was snow on the beach
5. Took a calculus night course after graduating from college just to prove to myself that I still liked it
Here’s mine, including:
3. Stood in the middle of an interstate highway looking into a body bag half full with charred remains
Up until about six years ago, I was a full-time journalist, so a lot of my list occurred in the line of duty. Others were just probably me being (un)lucky.
1) Received flecks of rant-spittle to the face delivered by Steve Ballmer.
2) Drank $200-a-bottle tequila with Sammy Hagar.
3) Attended a wedding in the Galapagos Islands.
4) Had champagne with Jeff Bezos while watching the destruction of Seattle’s Kingdome.
5) Covered a national breaking news story while at a baseball game, 11 rows behind home plate. (The game was not, in fact, the story in question.) Included a conference call in the bottom of the 9th.
6) Had my car’s timing belt snap in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota in November.
7) Spent an hour searching for the Yoda statue at LucasFilm’s HQ in the Presidio.
8) Interviewed both Gary Gygax and Steve Jackson for a story.
9) Sold my debut novel on my 40th birthday.
10) My first published photograph was of a flaming Camaro. Literally, it was completely on fire.
I would love to know what the 11PM phone calls from HE entailed
1. Shared the stage with Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, Al Gore, Jon Bon Jovi, and John Waters (but not all at the same time).
2. Was run over by a car I was trying to get into at the time.
That’s all I got :)
My list, on my blog:
Bonus # 11: Had a train go by on a trestle about two feet above my head while helping a friend do a free climb up the natural stone wall supporting one end of the trestle.
Gosh, let’s see.
1. Talked with and offered customer service at a record store for my musical hero, George Harrison, and upsold him on a copy of the ‘Buena Vista Social Club’ cd in the process.
2. Moved out of my parents’ house in MA, quit my job of nearly 5 years, moved to NJ then to CA, took my first commercial airline flight (and my first transatlantic flight), visited Scotland, and gotten married all within the span of one year.
3. Made Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie (as the Creatures) burst into laughter at the expense of The Cure’s Robert Smith.
4. Had another musical hero of mine, Peter Hook (New Order, Joy Division) ask me if I was in any bands.
5. Had John Scalzi crash into me at a bar meet-n-greet in San Antonio. [Granted, I was unaware that he was literally right behind me at the time and he was very gracious about it.]
6. Been the only person with my last name in the San Francisco phone book–that’s one Chaisson in a city of 700k+ people. [A Louisiana phone book, per my in-laws, would provide at least three pages of Chaissons/Chiassons.]
7. As a fan and not a pro musician myself, had a really nerdy conversation about music and recording with the bass player from Travis.
Hmm…that’s all I can think of for now…
invented the question mark…
Only a couple come to mind just now
1. Had a drunk guy pull a gun on me at the gas station I used to work at. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but as I didn’t get shot or anything, I guess I talked him down and he left.
2. As part of a high school project, filmed a commercial in a cemetery, making use of a recently dug, but not yet occupied, grave.
You got hit by a Pinto?!
…and it didn’t blow up?!
Kind of like your #8 – I have been pocket-dialed by a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and ended up with a 30-minute-long voicemail of his dinner conversation with his wife.
In webbed form: http://lizargall.com/2013/10/ten-things-ive-done-that-you-probably-havent/
First the Australian cliche section
1) Played with wild snakes (poor snakes)
2) Had a tick leap from the head of a habituated (not tame) kangaroo straight onto my hand and immediately latch on
3) Waded through flood waters and even swum through the really big “puddles”
4) Seen the sky go red with the haze of bushfires (ok this is really for the Americans reading, everyone from my hometown has seen this happen)
5) Tried out for the Rat City Roller Girls four times and finally become awesome enough to be on the Rat Lab (RCRG’s new skater development program)… now I have to bring a whole new level of awesome!
6) Moved to another country with my sweetheart… not that unique, except that we arrived with six suitcases and posted a large box of hats.
7) Been paid cash monies to be a guest performance poet!… my first creative paying gig.
8) Probably said “World’s first Indigenous Safe Sex Superhero” more times than any other human being
9) Had a circus run away with me (managing a youth circus was my last ‘normal’ job. I said “for three months only” which of course ended up being six months)
10) Kissed a fellow actor so violently on stage I split his lip.
Ah, but I HAVE invented a pie. Or at least a cheesecake, which is the pie-est of all possible cakes.
1) Politely declined a concert after-party invitation from Trent Reznor (I know.)
2) Received a surprise hug from the original Hammerhead in Star Wars
3) Photographed an old Kenner toy in the sands where scenes from Return of the Jedi were filmed
4) Was greeted by name by Eliza Dushku in a sports press box, to the astonishment of my co-workers
5) Broke the hinges on a cupboard door – by swinging on it – in my first-grade classroom (Decades later, the replacement hinges still set that door apart from the rest: My daughter attended first grade in the same room.)
6) Worn a Children’s Palace toy store Peter Panda mascot costume – both on and off the clock
7) Helped successfully fool people into thinking my best friend was my Australian cousin
8) Sliced my knee on a windshield wiper (Hey, kids: car windshield ≠ slide)
9) Earned a “4” – the worst possible score – in the report card category “Talks at appropriate times.” (I was threatened with a 5.)
10) Ate ice cream at the same shop three times in a single day
1. Changed the world because of professional work (E1 clock sync box; test system used to test about half of all seagate drives in the 90’s; tunable laser for telecomm frequencies)
2. do everything single handedly (well, I cheat .. I have one hand).
3. Danced with Nichelle Nichols in a 130 year old bar, then had her specifically mention me in her Guest of Honor speech. (She danced with everybody in that bar; the Capitol in Socorro, NM)
4. Built houses (for fun) in Mexico (about 10) and New Mexico (about 12).
5. Sat on the face of a director of a movie (accident – long story)
6. Have a prosthetic tooth
7. Been in the Wall Street Journal on the front right column – only time I will ever be to the right of Ben Bernanke) (7a: made in onto that year’s list of most unusual names – got 2 votes!)
8. Helped cut up a 40-foot whale (dead on a beach)
9. Got laid for the first time *in* a National Historical Landmark
10. Married a female Marine and still alive after 22 years (with most of my bits still intact).
11. Goosed by Anne McCaffrey while I wore a kilt
12. Met and rode in an elevator with Buzz Aldrin
13. Dinner party with Storey Musgrave (man fixed the Hubble AND has 6 PhDs [last I knew])
14. Met Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven for the first time when I threw them out of a party (No idea who they were until the host asked “Was Niven drunk?”)
15. Was 5 miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta quake – a 50 beer adventure.
16. Helped build stuff, then got to see it blown up. rinse, repeat (summer job at the college explosives research center).
1) Saw the birth of my son.
2) Saw opening ceremony of the Olympics: twice.
3) Played trombone for 3 different college marching bands: Columbia, Dartmouth, and Central Ct. State U.
4) Played trombone for 3 different college pep bands: Columbia, CCSU, and Clemson.
5) Was in a TV close up for a time out for NCAA regional men’s D I basket ball game.
6) Went to a British public school for 6 months when I was in the 7th grade.
7) Talked to the person who placed 2nd in the 100 meter dash in the 1936 Berlin games. He had his medal.
8) Introduced two people who later got married.
9) Climbed several Aztec Pyramids. One can’t not climb Chitzen Itza anymore.
10) Nearly got arrested in the Louve, in Paris.
1. Sat in on the Supreme Court and watched Thurgood Marshall fall asleep on the bench listening to a case about whether Cincinnati strippers had to wear pasties.
2. Hiked across the Grand Canyon in July and met a group on the trail, one of whom later I found out lapsed into a coma from heat stroke.
3. On an earlier trip to the Grand Canyon, had a fling with a park ranger.
4. Lost my wallet in Bangkok getting out of one of those motorized scooter taxis.
5. Left a bar one hour before a gunman in the bar opened fire and took hostages.
6. School friends with the National Security Advisor and the bass player from Guns ‘n Roses (different schools).
7. Had a 12 foot manta ray swim three feet over my head one minute into my first dive in Australia.
8. Had a mass of Egyptian school kids follow me through the Cairo Zoo like I was the Pied Piper, because what the hell was that Chinese guy doing there.
9. Am in the credits for Halo 2, at the time the biggest video game ever. I was the lawyer.
10. Chased Speaker of the House Tom Foley into the tunnels of the U.S. Capitol marked “House Members Only” so he would come out and take a picture with me. These days I would have just been shot. Still have the photo.
So many things I haven’t done that I want to do! Here’s my list, mainly made possible because I had a weird job when they happened.
1. Bribed my way into and out of the same country on the same trip.
2. Talked my way into Syria without a visa or a return ticket. The day before I was eating breakfast at a military airfield in southern Afghanistan when my phone rang with news of what my next twenty-four hours were going to be like.
3. Had one of the best and fanciest meals of my life at the only restaurant still open in a city that was being bombed as I ate.
4. Smuggled more than fifty thousand dollars on my person through three countries. Numerous times. The real problem turns out to be bulk.
5. Cornered the market on both red wine and tonic water in Baghdad.
6. Pulled a bottle of top shelf whiskey out of the remains of a bar wiped clean by a tsunami. It was the only thing left in one piece for as far as the eye could see.
7. Heard the same kind of automated pleasant female voice you hear asking you to please hold for the next available agent announce “Incoming” on a PA system and meaning it quite literally.
8. In college I broke into a factory lyrically described in a Michael Chabon novel that I had assumed he had created for his book but turned out to be real.
9. Rode a bicycle over the Continental Divide when I was in 7th grade.
10. In high school I skated the seal tank (void of both water and seals at the time) at a major aquarium in the middle of the night.
Oh, and John Scalzi (whom I do not know and have never spoken too) once posted Aztec Camera’s cover of Van Halen’s “Jump” just because I wrote and told him I thought it was awesome. A gesture that was much, much appreciated at the time.
1) Flew in a B-17. Seeing the ground a thousand feet below through rivet holes focuses the mind wonderfully.
2) Was mildly-to-moderately gassed by a fumarole on the Big Island of Hawai’i – based on the swimming-pool smell, it was probably hydrogen chloride.
3) Found myself alone in a locked basement room with someone having a psychotic episode.
4) Got a pencil flung into my eye by accident, point first, in fifth grade (It got better).
5) Experienced both the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes firsthand.
6) Stood in line for the men’s room next to astronaut Story Musgrave.
7) Climbed to the top of the Duomo in Florence (I joined a gym the month after I got back).
8) Stayed up 40 hours straight (well, there may have been a catnap or two) while shuttling things in a van from my grandmother’s house and my mom’s house into a third house they were moving into together.
9) Played tag with my brothers in the tunnels underneath the Library of Congress.
10) Drove 300 miles to Mojave to watch SpaceShipOne reach the Von Karman Line for the first time.
1. Lived on an island in the Beaufort sea during the winter
2. Saw mother polar bear and cubs on the ice
3. Loaned ukulele to John Scalzi
4. Published over 100 papers, was senior editor of technical journal
5. Flamed by two famous SF authors
6. Met presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior, and Bill Clinton by pure accident
7. Had Clinton’s secret service agent bring my car from the parking garage (he was dressed as a hotel employee)
8. Received standing ovation for banjo solo at the Calgary Folk Club.
9. Seen Billy Gibbons many times in Houston, usually at the airport.
10. I have three patents
This is fun!
Had a motorcycle I designed and built featured in SuperBike magazine. Twice.
Rode the grand prix tracks at Brands Hatch, Donnington, Le Mans and Paul Ricard.
Had *8* adult third teeth.
Fell out of the top of a 70ft high chestnut tree and despite haemophilia, didn’t die.
Got shot at by… well you don’t need to know.
Got bombed, twice, by the IRA
Saw Live Aid from both sides of the Atlantic
Helped develop an early iPad. In 1989.
Met Buzz Aldrin and didn’t get thumped.
Designed and built my own house
1. Saved a trapped dog from dehydration and starvation
2. Received a phone call from Larry Niven
3. Persuaded a surly goat to leave a delivery van by spraying its backside with Liquid Oxygen*
4. Lived along the same latitude line my entire life.
5. Flipped “tails” 44 consecutive times using a different penny each time.
6. Lead over 3000 people in singing, twice.
7. Been a Tintinnabulator
8. Performed “I want to Know What Love Is” with Foreigner
9. Designed a tabletop game
10. Watched a rocket dance in the air and land on its tail, like God and Heinlein intended.
* Just a few splatters and a lot of cold vapor. The goat was unhurt.
I’m really lucky; most of my notable things involve travel:
1. Spent a week crewing on a tall ship; you may know her currently as the HMS Surprise.
2. Was on the deck of HMS Victory in London as the Watch struck noon, on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
3. Watched the last launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center.
4. Overnighted on the island of Mont St. Michel, and watched the tide come in at twilight.
5. Likewise, overnighted in The Village (for all you Prisoner fans, the resort of Portmeirion).
6. Gave coffee to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
7. Got a picture taken with Penn Jillette, and hacked security on his magic show to do it.
8. Went coast to coast on a train and stood at Ground Zero (this was the week after 9/11)
9. Corresponded with the curator of meteorites at the British Museum, and was permitted a closed doors tour, including holding rare Martian and Lunar meteorites worth billions of pounds.
10. Descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
11. Climbed Uluru (Ayers Rock), and stood at the summit of Mauna Loa and Haleakala.
12. Swam with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.
13. Cut the tip off one finger with a table saw.
14. Lived for a while in a 200 year old log cabin.
15. Saw live lava.
16. Soloed in a light plane.
17. Was trapped in a basement during a flash flood, and had to break a window to get out.
18 Have also been through blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and brushfires. Note: being around me may be hazardous to your health.
I hope to be able to add more to the list as time goes on. Except for #13, that just sucked.
Took a bus from Atlanta to Minneapolis and back. While in Minneapolis, made a scarf out of a well-known jewelry artist’s leftover yarn.
Was Tuckerized into a fantasy novel as a banshee.
Got a positive comment on one of my fanfics from a professional editor.
Gave birth to three kids: one is a professional stunt performer, one is a bellydancer/henna artist/double bass player, and one is a Mars researcher.
Made John Scalzi smile at a book signing (by asking if he had a favorite one-star review of one of his works).
Ate rattlesnake quiche (labeled “quiche of death” by my brother the biologist, who prepared it).
Competed in the AAU National Taekwondo Tournament and medaled without winning a single match. (The world is run by those who show up–there are very few 40+ female colored belts in AAU competition.)
Pulled 180+ almost-invisibly-tiny deer ticks off my left foot and ankle in a single afternoon.
I have done #8. Or, I guess, had #8 done to me. :)
1. Been punched by Creed lead singer Scott Stapp
2. Handed Eddie Van Halen a bottle of Jack Daniels
3. Rode in Henry Rollin’s tour bus between two of his gigs
4. Pitched MTV executives on a TV show in their NY offices
5. Had the sun set behind me and rise in front of me during a single drive
6. Had uber best-selling author Laura Hillenbrand bake me a pie
7. Was a morning show DJ
8. Hugged Michael Stipe
9. Hugged Neil Gaiman
10. Organized Lou Reed’s record release party with the Warhol family for his album Songs For Drella
1) Had a motorcycle accident early one morning and didn’t even remember getting up that day. Last thing I recall was going to sleep hearing “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, and waking up three days later (no alcohol involved either).
2) Fell 30 feet from a cliffside in Greece and bounced three times. After taking inventory I had a two hour walk back to the car and another hour drive to Souda Bay.
3) Did a movie in Germany, where they spelled my name wrong in the credits. Thanks Roland and Dean. My misplaced namesake is actually on IMDB.
4) Won the Rothfuss Golden Ticket
5) Married my wife. Only one and just once.
6) Had an ATM dispense an extra 710$ (Over 2x of what I was withdrawing and I never even knew they dispensed 100$ bills. After weeks of trying to give it back, they said they couldn’t find the discrepancy so I should just keep it.
7) Living in Baltimore I was talking to a friend who was another displaced Niagara Falls native. A week later, while hitting a drivethrough ATM in Niagara Falls I had his father pull up behind me and strike up a conversation.
8) Got to perform in the intermission show at Cirque Du Soleil (Arena Show Saltimbanco). Literal 15 minutes of fame but it was a lot of fun. Cynical hint if you want to try this, get seated near the front and have your mother in a wheelchair with her oxygen tank seated next to you. That may have influenced their choice.
9) Gotten Window-Shaded (kayaking term) at the top of Hells Half Mile on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. It was my first experience with window-shading, immediately followed by second, third, 4th, and I lost count at about 8.
10) Had someone in a car try to kidnap me when I was twelve. Screw the fight response… flight is a great defense, especially when there are a lot of bushes around.
1. Traveled around the world by the age of 5
2. Attended public school in both England and Australia (and got ribbed for my English accent in Australia, then later for the horrible hodgepodge I spoke after both these schools when I returned to America).
3. Hold three patents.
4. Have traveled to all but one of the states in America
5. Had to get a new passport because the current one had used up all the pages
6. Spent 12 years in the military and never left the US.
7. Had my foot sliced open by being pushed onto barnacles
8. Met Boris Spassky (not too hard to do as practicing chess player)
9. Got married and kept it secret from the rest of her family for three months (really difficult as she still lived with her parents).
10. Had a Volkswagen beetle break down three miles from the Canadian border at 4 AM when the temperature was –46 F (cracked the air-cooled block).
11. Was so sick I paid absolutely no attention to the Loma Prieta earthquake (about 10 miles from the epicenter).
Accidentally posted this comment on a previous entry. Oops. Hope it’s okay that I re-post here:
1. Moved to Germany twice and to Oklahoma twice.
2. Crossed the Atlantic in an airplane 58 times.
3. Sang a capella on the streets of Zurich, Switzerland, and on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic.
4. Petted a tarantula in spite of severe arachnophobia.
5. Fractured my tailbone twice.
6. Completed more than 80 oil paintings.
7. Learned English and German fluently and achieved proficiency in French and Koine Greek.
8. Stood atop a scaffolding to paint a church building.
9. Viewed Dead Sea Scrolls: Psalms 31 and 33 from Cave 4, A.D. 50.
10. Accidentally went mountain-climbing in the Alps without any gear.
Blogged here: http://courtcan.com/about-the-author/10-things-ive-done-that-you-probably-havent/
My dad joined the Army, hoping to get sent to Europe or Asia…and his first duty station was in his Oklahoma hometown. ; )
1. Learned to ride a unicycle
2. Worked as a professional clown (twice) as a result
3. While briefly homeless, broke into a dry dock and slept overnight in a yacht stateroom in the middle of winter (I forget which)
4. Explored an abandoned insane asylum with three friends and found three straightjackets laid out in a row on a windowsill (I still have mine)
5. Rode a bike 82 miles to attend a Frisbee tournament
6. Due to an equipment breakdown, drifted under the Peace Bridge (Niagara River) on a sailboard
7. Married a girl I met when I was 11 years old (friends the entire time)
8. Endured having a CEO mock my work in front of an audience of 350 co-workers (goodnaturedly, but still!)
9. Member of the Central Park (NYC) Frisbee Team
10. Briefly detained by undercover police who drove up in a Bell Telephone van and wore phone company linemen overalls, thus establishing firmly in my mind that The Man was everywhere and all the conspiracy theories were true
1) Helped remove a small bus from a treetop with a Swiss Army knife.
2) Found a book written and autographed by Oscar Wilde’s first boyfriend.
3) Fished a fellow student out of a lake at Badwater Basin in Death Valley.
4) Met an amiable rattlesnake in an open shoebox who’d been left on a doorstep as a gift.
5) Turned bright yellow without anyone (including me) seemingly noticing.
6) Dug up Chinese porcelain and ammonites during the same half-hour at the same place.
7) Was shown vomiting on the news and got to hear about it for weeks.
8) Used the adobe bricks I hand-made to repair a four hundred year old historic structure.
9) Taught by a Manhattan Project physicist who’d been pursued by the FBI for two decades; he really didn’t curse in the way he was depicted as doing during the miniseries.
10) Borrowed a fire hydrant. I brought it back.
@Courtney Cantrell: Thanks for refreshing my memory: I also viewed the Dead Sea Scrolls; only I saw them twice, separated by 45 years–once when they were on display in Berkeley, California when i was seven, and once when they were on tour in Murfreesboro, TN. Maybe we were there at the same time? That second time, to the astonishment of the fundamentalist Christian exhibitgoers around me, I read one of them out loud in Hebrew (yes, I was also pretty amazed that i could read a 1950-year-old document with ease)
1. I’ve streaked on the field at a college football game
2. I went to high school with Julia Roberts
3. I’ve been both a public defender and a prosecuting attorney (although not at the same time)
4. I voluntarily jumped into the ocean when there were 20-some-odd hammerhead sharks swimming around that very spot (there was testosterone poisoning, and one Navy SEAL, involved)
5. I surfed the north shore of Hawai’i
6. I SCUBAed on the Bimini wall
7. I married the most wonderful and amazing woman in the world (it’s possible that others may say the same thing, but they would be wrong)
8. I drove to South Bend, IN during a blizzard in a truck with no functioning heater, with a light windbreaker as my warmest clothing. (It was almost 80 when I left Atlanta)
9. I once played golf with Chip Beck (PGA Tour pro)
10. I ate food from a street vendor in Bangkok, Thailand
1. Designed a game for the Nintendo NES that was published by Nintendo themselves.
2. Had lunch in the big house at Skywalker Ranch.
3. Ridden a motorcycle at 170mph on a public highway.
4. Spent the night in a succession of all-night cafes in central London, after getting back to the parking garage five minutes too late, having decided not to leave five minutes before the end of the Tom Waits concert I’d just been to. (Tom Waits concert followed by seedy cafes complete with off duty hookers, drug dealers, and various creatures of the night. It could not have been any better.)
5. Been introduced to Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and James Cameron (not all at the same time, natch.)
6. Caught Scarlet Fever and almost died. Bedridden for three weeks and relapses in the same month for the following two years.
7. Saw The Velvet Underground in concert on their brief early 1990s reunion tour.
8. Been detained for 45 minutes by security at LAX, right before my flight to the UK at Christmas was about to depart, because my name is slightly similar to an alias used by a known terrorist.
9. Sat waiting through the end credits in a movie theater so I could watch my name scroll past.
10. That’s it. I’m all out.
Was first female chair of an annual public speaking event at a prestigious boy’s private school. I performed this office wearing doc marten boots under my formal dress, I thought they’d be hidden by the table the whole time but had forgotten we were to enter the room in a procession.
Absconded with the entire underwear drawer of a dorm-mate and colluded in obtaining photographs of a pair of his boxers on the railing of the houses of parliament in London. We returned the drawer, plus photos, before he returned for the evening.
Bought 20 opaque plastic shoeboxes for the purpose of storing human brains, that was a fun checkout conversation.
Wrote a 75-page thesis on diarrhea (C. diff to be precise).
Published a 13-page paper on same.
Knitted a bedspread size cabled blanket (lots of people have done this, but I suspect John Scalzi is not one of them).
Led a parasol-wielding amateur drill team in San Diego Pride Parade.
Ok. I’ll play.
1. Petted a (live and awake, adult) lion.
1b. Petted a (ditto) tiger.
1c. Can tell whether it’s a lion or tiger by touch. This is much, much more dangerous than you think.
2. Force fed a sick pelican without any help (much harder than you think, and yes, the bird was in the care of a vet)
3. Rode an elephant bare back and solo
4. “Buried the needle” in a Ford Fairmont (at least 120 mph)
5. Ate a bug. On purpose.
6. Swam with sharks
7. Took out a fence with an M1 carbine (as much fun as it sounds!)
8. Met Jacques Cousteau
9. Participated in a whale necropsy
10. Slept through a category 1 hurricane that went right over my house
Hmmm… It’s been two years since I had one of these adventures. I guess I need to start planning the next one. Suggestions?
P. S. The Reno who hates me is a bobcat.
11. I have helped capture a healthy and awake bobcat and saw why they are called “flying blenders.”
One I almost forgot, and I’m a bit ashamed that I did as it may be my one true claim to fame (such as it may be). Out of everyone on this site, in America, or in the world, I may well be the *only* person who has ever:
Played air guitar.
While dressed as Santa Claus.
During a Chanukah-themed music video.
This has been cited as evidence that there is NOTHING I will not do for my friends. :)
The Harlan things happened to me; it’s a time-difference thing, though.
I once found a 7 leaf clover. A monkey stole it from me and ate it.
1. I am a trademarked Paramount character (tuckerized in a Star Trek novel, notable as a red shirt WHO MADE IT THROUGH THE NOVEL ALIVE).
2. Worked with a Tony Award winner, a Hugo Award winner and (I think) an Emmy Award winner.
3. Tossed back drinks with a Bond Girl.
4.Said Tony Award winner and Bond Girl will return my calls. (it may take a month or two, but they’ll return my calls)
5. Helicoptered into a site close to where Frank Sinatra’s mother crashed in a plane (steep, steep mountain side).
I’m surprised no one has mentioned seeing attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion or watching C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. ;)
1. Got hit by a car when I was 10. It broke my ankle and cracked my hip. This was only a day or two after school let out for the summer and I spent all of that summer in the hospital (in traction and in a body cast).
2. When I was five years old I rode the S.S. United States cruise ship from NYC to France. Took the Norddeutscher-Lloyd ocean liner M.S. Berlin back to the US. Visited Paris, Munich, my mom’s hometown (Kulmbach), a Medieval castle and communist Czechslovakia. I traveled more as a five year old than an adult!
3. Stood inside the dish of one of the dish antennae used for the Very Large Array.
4. While driving on the interstate I narrowly missed getting hit by a wheel that flew off a car. If I had driven even a little bit faster that wheel would have hit my car and killed me.
5. Attended Stephen R. Donaldson’s wedding (his second marriage).
The next 5 I normally wouldn’t think worth mentioning but, since others have put similar items in their list, I figured what the hell:
6. Memorized pi to 12 digits.
7. Took an elevator ride and had a conversation with an Astronaut (Sid Guttierez).
8. Watched the launch of the first shuttle (Discovery) since the Challenger disaster.
9. Descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and then ascended it in the same day. Did it again a year later.
10. Had a pleasant conversation with Douglas Adams during a book signing.
1. Toured with a band (you’ve never heard of).
2. Opened for a band that had videos on MTV at the time (this was the
3. Shared a dressing room with male strippers.
4. Been on local TV news twice (that I can remember) — for good things,
5. Worn a space suit.
6. Roped a steer (in “easy mode” at a dude ranch).
7. Created an open source program used in 50+ countries and translated into
8. Written non-fiction articles published in two tech magazines. One was
the cover article.
9. Came in second in the Gong Show road show auditions, with my high school
New Orleans jazz band. First place went to a singing fireman in red long
10. This item stands in for all the other fun stuff I’ve done that I’m not
remembering right now.
Some involve horses, my life long hobby and passion:
1. Had a horse step on my chest as he went over me after I had fallen over his head. Broke many ribs but did not hurt my heart.
2. Personal record of five bounces when I unintentionally departed a galloping horse. Only broke one rib on a rock in the field.
3. Flew small planes at Midway Airport in Chicago during a period when it did not have regularly scheduled commercial flights. Took lessons and got my pilots license.
4. Won second in an air race near Chicago.
5. Worked for a Nobel Prize winner. (only met him twice in the 2 years I worked there)
6. Owned 30 horses, never more than 3 at a time. Still own 2
7. Had an analytical method published in “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater” Method was eventually accepted as a standard method by US EPA where I worked.
8. Discovered that an analytical method was technique dependent when used on steel mill slag. Resulted in the method being replaced in US EPA RCRA compendium of acceptable methods.
9. Have found that using a chainsaw on trees and branches relaxes me and clears my mind. Fortunately I have lots to work on.
I almost got hit by a car. He was rolling through the crosswalk, looking toward oncoming traffic on his left. I was crossing from the right. I slapped my hand on the hood of his car and jumped out of the way. He braked and freaked out and asked if I was okay. I was going to be late for school, so I said yes, even though I kind of threw my back out with the jump.
Wait, wait. I’ve thought of a number ten:
10. Sat in a pub getting drunk with Iain M Banks.
1. I have taken John Scalzi to an In-and-Out Burger (maybe not that uncommon on here).
2. Was the nationwide high score holder for M. U. L. E. at one point. (Atari 800)
3. Was name checked in a SFWA Grand Master speech.
4. Have had two (and possibly two or three more to be) SFWA Grand Masters in my Toyota Matrix.
5. Had a photo of my Volkswagon bug snow sculpture on the cover of my hometown paper.
My Harlan calls were also at more reasonable hours.
1) Was hit by a car on the last day of 3rd grade.
2) Fell down a 13′ deep pit head first at the age of 6 and managed to only get a badly sprained wrist out of it.
3) Set a school record in a running event by 7% (the 500 meters from 1:36 to 1:29.2)
4) Served as a ball boy for a D1 league champion basketball team.
5) Helped a horrible teacher decide to retire (along with the rest of my 5th grade class).
6) Ran the 100m in under 10 seconds.
7) Almost totalled my car at 5 mph. Got the corner of another car’s bumper in my headlight fixture and tore up all kinds of stuff, leaving a 3 inch long minor scratch on the other vehicle.
8) Rolled a snowmobile completely over me.
9) Been shot while sitting at my computer (stray bullet in the countryside).
10) Own 6 swords, 4 staves, 2 axes and a hand crossbow.
Crap – number 6 should have been “under 11 seconds”
1. Dislocated my own knee while doing a crescent kick in karate class.
2. Dislocated the same knee at work 15 years later. I was a teacher.
3. Had the same knee dislocated more than 20 years later when my oldest son headbutted the side of it.
4. Put said knee back in place myself.
5. You may be noticing a trend.
6. Had my jaw headbutted by my second son and had it crack, loudly and painfully, every time I opened my mouth for the next 18 months.
7. Borrowed 20 euros from a Transylvanian lawyer while in Dublin.
8. Worked for 8 years on a lobster boat even though I’m deathly allergic to shellfish.
9. Met my husband on a blind date even though he didn’t know it was a fix-up.
10. That was actually more than I expected when I started this.
In no particular order . . .
1. Eaten bee larvae. (They taste like potato chips to me, but YMMV.)
2. Visited the Golan Heights on the very day the Israelis and the Syrians were shooting artillery at each other.
3. Slept on the lawn of a local temple in Ise, Japan. (Not the Grand Shrine; they roust you for that.)
4. Was woken up by the Big Japan earthquake of 1995.
5. Walked from 103 Street in Harlem to Rego Park, Queens during the NYC blackout in 2003.
6. Play-tested the Willow board game with Jeff Gomez and Erick Costikyan.
7. Had two books published by Palladium Books for their Robotech RPG.
8. Slid partway down Mount Komagatake (Japan) on my ass.
9. Climbed Camel’s Back Hump mountain in Vermont.
10. Walked down from the summit of Masada using the Snake Path.
Right, here’s the list of the top 10 things I WISH I had done:
1. Wrestled an anaconda in the Amazon, while being filmed by several scantily-clad people of both genders (because equal-opportunity objectivization).
2. Dramatically saved a pod of whales from Japanese poachers and heroically rammed a whaler ship with an icebreaker (because whalers are assholes).
3. Personally fought off a Breen invasion fleet in the Bajor sector, beaming aboard the flagship personally to kill Thot Gol, the Breen commander (because everyone loves to hate the Breen).
4. Bounced no fewer than seventeen times while crash-landing a runabout on New Romulus after heroically fighting off a Hirogen scout frigate.
5. Fought a Jem’Hadar First for three straight hours in a duel to the death in a Dominion prison camp (because Worf is my idol).
6. Forged my own bat’leth sword and got it signed by Worf (ditto).
7. Crashed the Enterprise-E into a moon while pretending I was Wesley Crusher, because I am nowhere near as cool as Wil Wheaton is.
8. Saved the President of the United States from North Korean assassins.
9. Kicked Bashar al-Assad in the balls so hard that he needed surgery while on trial to remove them from his abdominal cavity (because Assad is a monster).
10. Met Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Benedict Cumberbatch at the same time, and promptly fainted from awe (because awesome).
Meanwhile, the real me is pretty damn drab and boring. Why do middle-aged people have all the cool experiences?
1) Had seven Taliban point AK-47s at me and yelled at them for invading my house.
2) Stayed in a hotel in Marshad, Iran during Anti-America/Anti-Zionist Day while being American.
3) Hiked the Panorama and Mist Trails in Yosemite National Park from 3 pm to 1 am.
4) Been friends with the former Finance Minister of one country and the future Finance Minister of another country.
5) Met Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Hamid Karzai.
6) Jumped off a fast moving train in Africa.
7) Had my hand crunched in a printing press without losing any fingers.
8) Had tea in Ghana’s Parliament House with a Member of Parliament.
9) Been confined to a town for four days by protesters.
10) Have been evacuated from three countries because of security and confined to my house in two countries during coups.
1. Got my glasses broken by an elephant. In Alaska.
2. Sat in a tree for two hours during an Alaskan winter to avoid a cranky mama moose (bonus points: I neither got frostbite nor died of hypothermia).
3. Read an Ig Nobel prize-winning article before it won the prize bc it was related to my own research.
4. While pranking a friend, convinced the neighborhood that a UFO invasion was taking place (bonus points: spent 3 hours hiding in the woods from the police who were called as a result).
Floored, it’s not the age, it’s the mileage. Your time will come :)
@ Jon378: You are more badass than Phil Coulson and Wolverine put together. Keep it up!
It’s not that middle aged people have ALL TEH KOOLZ, it’s that middle aged people have been around for so damn long that there’s been plenty of time for experiences to accumulate. Before I was 25 I hadn’t done anything at all. (Well, actually, I’d already done the scarlet fever thing, but really, if I could I’d retroactively skip that one, given that it left me with permanent damage to my right eye and lungs.)
You shouldn’t let it worry you. Things will happen and some of those things will be interesting.
Librarian, I was going to say we are old enough to have been stupid that many times, but I think you put it better.
Let’s see. I’ve…
i, Seen a Maori chief in his underwear.
ii, Been attacked by a fish on a tropical reef.
iii, Touched a book which was (literally) a thousand years old.
iv, Saved someone from drowning when I was about eight or nine.
v, Found out I was related to one of the greatest figures in nuclear physics – at a pretty remote degree, mind you.
vi, Discovered the hard way what morphine and extended bed rest does to a person’s digestive system.
vii, Asked Neil Gaiman a question which caused him to blink several times figuring out an answer.
viii, Felt a bone in my foot just snap as I was training for soccer.
ix, Reduced an HR manager to tears in a union negotiation.
x, Had a Usenet satire I wrote used in lobbying the US Congress.
Here’s my list:
– Driven the street in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. (Try doing that these days.)
– Was in Los Angeles, CA on August 8, 1969 the date of the Sharon Tate Murders by the Manson family. That was creepy.
– Had a Blue Angel pilot salute my wife and I with his wings, while in a 165 degree roll, doing a power descent, about 150 ft above our house.
– Been quoted by name by ESPN’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
– Was at a Pink Floyd concert that was recorded live and published on CD. (Yes you can purchase me live, in concert.)
– Had my head “chopped off” on stage in Las Vegas.
– As a kid, designed a sandlot football play that never failed to score a touchdown during hundreds of games over many years. Called it the 10-Triple-X because it sounded cool to my nine year old mind.)
– Played poker with Phil Gordon and WSOP champion Greg Raymer. (Back in the days of WRGPT, a world wide email poker tournament.)
– Had my jersey number retired by a NFL team. Was at the game it happened. (Seattle Seahawks, number 12 for 12th man on the field.)
– Been called dozens of times from all over the world at odd hours to settle bar room trivia disputes. (Drunken slur: “Hey … settle a bet for us … who sang/starred in/played for …etc.”) Curse you internet and smart phones, you made me obsolete.
@Floored: I’m just an over-weight & aging international development worker. Most people in my business at my age can write a similar list.
Okay, my turn.
1. Stolen a pencil eraser from an American student in an elementary school in a small town in the middle of the Israeli desert.
2. Had a triple bypass operation when I was a mere pup (45 years old).
3. Was part of a sketch comedy group that actually recorded half an hour’s worth of material for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. (Somewhere in the bowels of CBC headquarters is a DAT tape with my voice on it!)
4. Attended a science fiction convention in England and didn’t drink a drop of alcohol.
5. Wore a Mad Hatter’s hat to Word on the Street, an annual literary event in Toronto. (I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a very strong neck.)
6. Produced a short film based on a script I had written that was partially shot in a porn store.
7. Got a Masters degree without stepping foot on the campus, or, for that matter, the city where the institution was based. (It was done entirely online through Paul Levinson’s Connected Education when it was affiliated with the New School for Social Research).
8. Met my Masters thesis adviser (Paul Levinson) face to face for the first time at an academic conference ten years after I graduated.
9. Written an average of three humourous/satirical articles every week for my Web site, Les Pages aux Folles, for eleven years (and counting). Fiction is harder than you may think.
10. Had over 50 short story rejections in the past three years. (The list didn’t have to be limited to positive things, right? In any case, I had half a dozen short stories accepted in the same period, so it wasn’t all horrible…)
I drove a Ford Pinto (station wagon version) in high school. My family owned two of them at the time. One was for my sister and me to drive; the other was a former family car that my Dad used for parts for the one we drove. That is not a joke.
Give it time. Also, don’t give a shit what other people do (or don’t) think. Those two things combined can lead to many fun adventures, most of them unexpected. Some of my most interesting experiences started out completely banal and mundane, but if you just flow with it, you can ended up in exotic places with fascinating people, doing amazing things. (Like smoking pot in an alley with Anthony Bourdain, which did not go on my list, because I limited myself to 10. For years I left it off my list because it was illegal, but no more! Whee!)
I lifted a 100lbs with my groin using ironcrotch techniques.
I once parallel parked a train.
Stay thirsty my friends.
Narmitaj – you may be able to relate to a few of mine
1) Took a boat from NY across the Atlantic to Europe (not sure where) and another one across the Mediterranean to Beirut, Lebanon, when I was six months old.
2) Was evacuated to the island of Hydra during the 6 day war.
3) Was good friends with Kim Richards in 1st grade (we attended each others birthday parties).
4) Flew from Beirut to NY and then CA “unaccompanied” when I was 10 (and well before it was common place), during said trip spent 14 hrs in the Brussels airport, and probably completely freaked out the flight attendants in charge of us (me and my siblings) by sneaking out of the room (lounge?) they put us in (and told us not to leave) to explore the airport.
5) Had a bomb explode in the building across the street from my apartment when I was 11 and had my parents (who were at a dinner party at the time) decide to stay at the party when we told them we were OK only to change their minds when the couple in the next apartment decided to take us to their apartment which was closer to the bomb site.
6) Walked down the street on which there was an active sniper scare.
7) Went to the top of the Acropolis on the night of a full moon which was fully eclipsed later that night and, 7 years later, lived in a dorm in CA with someone who had also been on the Acropolis that night.
8) Visited 13 countries before I was 13
9) Drove from SB to Paso Robles to see concerts on Friday night and Sat night then drove back to SB to see another concert there on Sunday (and I was only at the Sunday concert to see the opening act – Graham Nash)
10) Attended a BBQ picnic with Michael Collins and his actor daughter Kate Collins as well as a former CIA (we think) agent
1. Was at the wedding of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett
2. Was at the wedding of Yaphet Kotto and Tessie Sinahon
3. Watched Dizzy Gillespie wash his horn in a public restroom.
4. Completed the Goofy Race-and-a-Half Challenge (1/2 marathon on Saturday, a full marathon on Sunday)
5. Made out with a girl in a national historic landmark, actually more than one now that I think about it. May or may not have smoked pot at a couple, too.
6. Sold Richard Dreyfus a hat
7. Kicked the Dead Milkmen out of an elevator
8. Once dropped a diet coke into a tureen of lobster bisque, served it to the customers, and no one ever noticed.
9. Sledded down the Mount Washington Auto Road in winter.
10. My senior year in high school, I wore a different tie every single day for no good reason.
I know the true answer to one of Life’s Most Asked Questions.
Background: I volunteered at Emerald City Comic Con this last spring. On the first day of con, I was on the second floor of (let’s call it Building A). On the second floor of (Building B) – across the street – was the Gaming Area. All day, people were asking me directions to the gaming section. This was a comic con, so people were in all sorts of costumes. On my honor as a gentleman, sworn upon my stack of autographed Scalzi first editions, up walked a man wearing a chicken mask (human clothes) and chicken feet who asked me where the gaming area was. My reply: “Sir, I believe you will need to cross the road.”
So, the Answer to one of Life’s Most Asked Questions (Why did the chicken cross the road?) is not “to get to the gaming area” but more specifically, it is “because I told him to.”
Oh, and while I’m not the only, I’m one of the few to have had a photo of mine published on Whatever.
@ Jon387: That doesn’t make you any less badass.
1) Arm wrestled George Takei
2) Slept in a monastery in the mountains of New Zealand
3) Fell down the stairs w/ author Dave Duncan
4) Had “There’s no way in hell he should have survived that!” written on the police report for my single vehicle accident
5) Had a face to face encounter w/ a timber wolf & shot at it with my cap guns (I was 7)
6) Sat in the back row of a movie theatre w/ 2 English professors, another English Major & an Anthro major and dissected Starship Troopers on opening night
7) Stood & watched as a group of deer figured out how to get around the mechanism on the squirrel-proof bird feeder (They figured it out *way faster than any squirrel ever did.)
8) One of the horses decided to bypass the gate & go under the fence by way of the water trough. I got to try & get her out of there when she got stuck
9) Spent a week at summer camp retelling The Hobbit & the Lord of the Rings trilogy from memory over the evening campfire.
10) Watched in dismay as the family dachshund relieved himself on the shoes of the Prime Minister of Canada (That dog did *not like politicians)
WOW. That is AWESOME!!!!!!! You got to wrestle Mr. Sulu? HIMSELF?!?!?!?!! That’s…AWESOME.
Mine stick their tongues through the bars and vacuum up the seed.
First of all, OUCH. Second of all, I sure hope that the PM in question was Stephen Harper, because he’s an idiot.
1. broke my own bone while running myself over with my own bike.
2. received an animation cell from Myron Waldman. animator for the fleischer studio Superman series.
3. caught a living fish on a bike trail. as the fly fisherman that had caught it. lost his line, snagged fish and line in my tire, seized it and go see no. 1
4. made out with a girl (my spouse at the national archive, great lawn, teddy roosevelts house, and lincoln memorial)
5. have over 25 scars. all on my right hand side of my body.
6. my geeky man cave was on the front page of CNN.com
7. been, shot, stabbed, had two heart attacks. before 21. not from result of any drugs or drinking.
1. Was tripped over by Senator Hubert Humphrey (before he was VP)
2. Sold pizza door to door
3. Hypnotized a squirrel while doing tai chi
4. Talked a guard dog out of biting me
5. Wrote the page-one story for a restaurant fire in -20 degree weather with a pen whose ink kept freezing.
1. Been a published research author (well, co-author) in genetics without actually having taken any biology courses. Primary on one paper, even. Genes are just data, in the end.
2. Ported Univac code to another architecture. Specifically, to a TRS-80. See also: logged non-ironic time on a machine actually called a Univac.
3. Had six canines removed. I wanted to keep them and make a necklace! But they didn’t let me. See also: Punched my oral surgeon in the face. (While sedated. I didn’t know what was going on and I wasn’t sedated enough.)
4. Run a science-ficiton convention. Also a music festival.
5. Made and released a music album. (Working on a third, actually…)
6. Almost run into Wil Wheaton at PAX three times. I’ve never met him, but I’ve literally danced around to avoid running headlong into him at doorways three times. I don’t know what’s up with that.
7. Been a reference model for a comic book character.
8. Been surveilled. Oh wait, that’s everybody now, never mind… how about:
8. Accidentally started an… occasionally embarrassing… subculture. Not saying which one.
9. Called Steve Ballmer on his bullshit, using that word, and got a reply. (I worked for Microsoft at the time, and, to his credit, was not fired.) See also: run a UUCP node that linked to the Microsoft corpnet.
10. Served as cultural and occasional language translator for an English-language-speaking tour group in Japan. Only once; that was plenty. (So embarrassing…)
Some things I’ve done
1 – Been hit by lightning. Had to tell my wife about the previous time I’d almost been hit by lightning
2 – Talked with Teller.
3 – Run for Congress a couple of times.
4 – Driven at least three different vice presidential candidates around (it’s been a while; I think the total was eventually four or five.) None of them won, but some were nominated.
5 – Illegally crossed the border from Costa Rica into Panama
6 – Been surveilled by the Philadelphia Red Squad, and offered them coffee when they were parked outside watching us (they declined, having brought their own.)
7 – Worked for a guy with a number tattooed on his arm. Not the fun kind of tattoo.
8 – Was taught how to use a Skil-saw by a one-armed man.
9 – Been on Japanese TV a few times – one was filmed at a party with Timothy Leary
10 – Obtained a joint for Robert Anton Wilson, at a convention where I didn’t know most of the people.
11 – Watched a guy walk on the Moon! (Ok, on live TV, not in person. And the older folks here have mostly done the same, but the younger ones haven’t.)
I am not as interesting as you, Mr. Scalzi, or many of my fellow commenters. But I have 3.
1) Been hit by cars on 2 separate occasions with nothing more than minor bruising either time.
2) Been on Jepoardy on 2 separate, non-consectutive occasions. Losing each time.
3) Have an obscure, non-useful color space named for me.
1. Leg pressed 850 lbs for 1×10 on the 45 degree sled.
2. Knocked out my anesthesiologist when he attempted to put in a breathing tube.
3. Stopped a puck with my forehead–no mask.
4. Was the emergency backup goalie for a now defunct minor league hockey team.
5. Picked up by the Guardia Civil outside a wine shop in Sevilla.
6. Dislocated both hips on Splash Mountain.
7. Installed tempest-class computers at US Central Command.
8. Split a pitcher of Guinness draft with Secret Service agents.
9. Had my intestines reconnected in a loop by a surgeon starting residency.
10. Bottle-fed baby bats.
@wiredwizard ; 2) Slept in a monastery in the mountains of New Zealand
Heh. I’ve cross-dressed in the mountains of New Zealand, so we probably cancel each other out.
1. Since precedence says one must start with car collision: while in junior high got hit by a car while riding my bike. Stuck the landing – car pushed me for about 15-20ft but I remained upright and unsquashed.
2. Berated aforementioned driver so loudly that people came out into the street 8 houses down to see what the commotion was about.
3. At age 4 jumped out a 2nd floor barn window playing “Robin” on the advice of my 6yr brother’s Adam West inspired “Batman”. Experience did warrant a hospital visit and X-ray but resulted in no broken bones. Zlonk! Kapow!
4. Had 8 adult teeth pulled (wisdom+canines, no baby ones that I remember) — this seems to be a “thing” so I’ll give my own spin: The four canines didn’t come without a fight — two sets of novicaine shots each and felt every bit. Dentist said after the first, with a surprised face, “Wow, you have long roots” … and proceeded to pull the other three. Still have them.
5. Survived a freak 2-day summer storm (rain, sleet, snow, hail) 20 miles walk from the nearest road in the high Sierras; alas 4-5 others in the general vicinity didn’t. Next day holed up under an outcropping during another short downpour with a passing Army Ranger on survival training who’d failed to make the rendezvous for his unplanned helicopter ride out. At least we had tents and more than survival rations.
6. Met an adult bear face-to-face in Upper Yosmite Valley from about 15 feet away — thought it was a raccoon. Pro tip: arrive at campsite before sunset; turn flashlight on before taking steps towards sounds of rustling. Helped scour woods for mother’s 45lb pack that bear had lopped off with without so much as a “by your leave”.
7. Spent too much of one of my senior year physics lectures snogging future wife — not sure what the Nobel Laureate teaching the class thought of it.
8. Designed and hand-built (wirewrapped) ECL/TTL-based computer because new fangled 20MHz 68020 CPU wasn’t fast enough to do what I wanted after I carefully counted clock cycles.
9. Spent 30+ years working on experiments at a national laboratory doing cool things in the exploration of Science. Listed as coauthor of almost 100 journal articles including one of the two top-quark discovery papers (along with several hundred of my closest friends).
10. … hmmm, there must be something…
1. I hiked into Mesa Verde National Park at midnight, arriving at the campground around 5 a.m.
2. I led tours at Mesa Verde, which I know a lot of other people have done as well, but still, it was a massively cool thing to do. That autumn, I researched the CCC while I lived in a house they built.
3. I (with my brother) read and touched and enjoyed two copies of Don Quixote published c. 1628, two of only a few copies existing in the New World.
4. George Montgomery, who did margarine commercials and was married to Dinah Shore, petted me on the head when he was marshall of our parade (I was 21 and in the band).
5. I sang Christmas carols with my dad on a hillside in Acapulco on Christmas Day while my cousin was trying to find us a place to stay.
6. I toured the inside of the pyramid in Cholula, which has been closed off for years, and hung out in the niches at El Tajin (also closed now).
7. I was dive-bombed by an owl at Great Sand Dunes N.P. while awaiting a meteor shower.
8. I watched the moon landing at my cousin’s ice factory in Mexico, where he let townspeople take turns watching it since there were only 3 televisions in town.
9. I was called a stupid woman by Harlan Ellison because I let my ex-husband steal my autographed copy of Paingod.
10. I successfully raised three children as a single mother, all of whom are now in college.
1. “Created” a superhero at age 7, sent in to Marvel Comics, and they used him in an Avengers story years later.
2. Appeared in an indie film as one of the main characters.
3. Gave away everything I owned and (tried to) move to the Florida Keys.
4. Organized and MCed a Christian music festival.
5. Worked as a “phone actor” (yes… what you’re thinking) and had my one & only paycheck bounce because the law froze the company’s accounts.
6. Met Mark Mothersbaugh. While I was eating a fried Twinkie.
7. Published a weird little zine that was distributed on both US coasts.
8. Worked at Ozzfest. For Trojan condoms.
9. Attended an experimental school in 6th grade where we practiced ESP exercises. Seriously. It was the 70s.
10. Fronted an art-rock band that literally blew out the power during one of our shows.
It says “Ten Additional”, so here are ten more…
1. Interviewed the second man to orbit the earth, Gherman Titov, in his home in Moscow in 1998 (on that same trip I also briefly shook hands with Alexei Leonov in Star City – but have not met Story Musgrave or any US astronaut).
2. While staying at a house in Malibu I answered the phone and it was Sandra Bullock; she asked for Nick and although my real name is Nick, I was not the Nick she was looking for (though he was in the building).
3. Spent a day in Nashville, then took an overnight 15hr Trailways bus to New Orleans; spent 20 hours there, then took a 27-hr Trailways bus to Miami – all without changing my clothes once in about 72 hours (well, it was 1976).
4. Shook President Mubarak’s hand at the Cairo Book Fair in January 1991
5. Saw Pete Postlethwaite pluck out my uncle’s eyes and Jenny Agutter crush them under her foot on a London stage (they were all RSC actors performing King Lear; my uncle was Gloucester).
6. The first time I used Photoshop I had to design some werewolf-themed stained-glass church windows, but the operating language was German, which I don’t know
7. While trying to hitch from my out-of-town hotel into central Kampala on my first trip to Uganda I was picked up by an aid organisation 4×4 carrying a man I had sat next to on the flight out from London and never spoke to; what’s more, he’d just that minute come from visiting a former girlfriend of mine from my student days whose physical address I didn’t know (I only knew her PO Box number), so he turned the car round and took me to her.
8. Had all of my attempts at placing cartoons with satirical fortnightly Private Eye rejected
9. For the last ten years I’ve done weekly updates for the website I designed for a folk club, in a city 240 miles from me, that I only visit once every two or three years.
10. Here’s one for drmeow’s #4 – at the age of ten, I took a train from York to London, where I was put up for the night by my brother’s student girlfriend, then put on a plane to Beirut, “unaccompanied”; at Beirut Airport my mother was waiting on the viewing balcony to throw down the money I needed to pay for my visa and get through passport control (19th December 1968, it says in my passport)(a few days later the Israelis attacked the airport, destroying 13 Arab airliners). I can’t imagine many international airports nowadays where you can throw stuff from landside to airside with impunity!
Thank you. I don’t think I’ll post anywhere and you probably have done a number of things on my list. But it was fun and good for me. So thank you.
My ten things:
1) Survived recurring periods of suicidal ideation and suicidal thoughts between the ages of approximately ten and 42 (so far).
2) Broke my ankle coming out of a bookstore (and thus got one of the world’s most expensive fares for a journey of about five city blocks – $500. Never use an ambulance in Australia, they cost a bomb; it would have been cheaper to just put me in a cab).
3) Started four separate degrees at three different universities, none of them on the same subject. (I’m currently working on actually finishing the fourth).
4) Sewed a ball dress for a friend’s school ball appearance.
5) Survived Cyclone Alby (Perth, WA, 1978 – notable because I quite literally don’t remember it, even though it was apparently one of those big things you’re supposed to remember for the rest of your life).
6) Stunned my first grade teacher by reading a couple of sentences off the blackboard to her. I seem to remember one of them contained the word “cyclone”, but this was back in 1977, before Alby. I wound up testing with a reading age of nine.
7) Startled my mother by reading out an article regarding pre-school closures from the newspaper before I was due to start preschool (so this would have been in 1976). This is how Mum picked up that I could read. I then read my way through the pre-school’s entire library of Dr Seuss books from go to whoa.
8) Bemused a professional opthalmologist by having developed a squint (from reading) at age two and a half (this would have been about 1973). They didn’t pick up on what had caused things until I was about five or six, because all the tests they’d used on me were all designed for pre-reading age kids.
9) Taught my younger brother to read before he started school as well (he was born in 1974, started school in 1980).
10) Was the only girl in my seventh grade class to get through the Museum of Pickled People Bits (not its real name, just an appropriate description) at Curtin University School of Nursing without feeling queasy or throwing up. I blame reading my mother’s midwifery textbooks as leisure material for that one.
11) Put in charge of teaching a learning-disabled girl how to read and recognise her letters while I was in first grade (she was waaay behind the class; I was so far ahead of them it wasn’t funny; the teacher decided to split the difference by drafting me as a teaching aide).
I was going to try and match you on the monument porch make out (U.S. Capitol). But the Robie House?!! I can’t touch that unless I get my wife to kiss me on the rocks below Fallingwater.
I have a few good ones though:
1. Wrote a news story about a dog that treed itself
2. Drove the ice cream truck.
3. Went to space camp as an adult.
4. Saved Q-Tip (from Tribe Called Quest) from a near certain minor head injury.
1. Am in “Howard the Duck”. (It gets better from here)
2. Once touched Harrison Ford. (Also ogled his ass)
3. Made Terry Pratchett laugh once (Still thrilled about that)
4. Watched all the Moon landings (Some of you did that)
5. Touched the Rosetta Stone. (Not as fun as Harrison Ford)
6. Got stuck behind Malcolm McDowell’s limo at an airport. (Parked in the white zone)
7. Grimaced at by Tricky Dick Nixon (I think he was trying to smile)
8. Gave directions around the office to a Nobel Prize winner (my boss’ boss’ boss)
9. Was once COMPLEMENTED by Harlan Ellison (for my costume)
10. Married a guy 32 years ago and am still mildly goofy about him.
Have a Princess Daphne cel from Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair game. Paid $40 for it in 1986 (wonder what it’s worth now?)
Shared an elevator with Tommy Lee Jones in a Dallas hotel. He was lost and enlisted me as his navigator.
Was kicked out of an elevator at the same hotel by Louis Farrakhan’s minders; he didn’t want to share… and on the way to the front desk to rage, ran into Jim Nabors who had also been kicked out of the elevator but was in much more even state of mind.
Was pierced in 3 unusual locations (for me), thought better of it and was really glad I had turned down the tattoo.
1. I got into a top 15 high school
2. I have made it to 10th grade w/o any romantic relationships
3. I’ve been to PAX East twice
4. I’ve swam we’ll over 500,000 meters in my life
5. I am friends with seven of the best kids in my county
6. I was taught chemistry by a nuclear power plant manager of security
7. I have read “whatever” John Scalzi’s blog (Schocker)
8. I have been to Spain 3 times
9. I aquired 2 broken fingers, a broken wrist, a fractured collarbone and gotten a 3rd degree burn, all in the first 13 years of my life.
10. I have lived through two millenniums, two centuries, three decades, a recession, George Bush, the (partial) legalization of Homosexual Marrige, the birth of PAX, the invention of the iPad, the birth of a myriad of children, and much more that I don’t know about. The strange thing is, you have probably gone through three times as much!!
@ Lurkertype: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH PLEASE DO NOT MENTION “Howard the Duck!!!” PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know few people who wouldn’t take that opportunity.
Truly, an acheivement worthy of honor and glory! Qapla’, thlIngan!
Finally, that Harlan Ellison dude really gets around, doesn’t he?
1) Have been rendered unconscious by A) a line drive while playing left field B) having my head slammed inside one of those fold-open desks C) falling from the top of one of those monkey bar towers, hitting several bars with my head as I did D) nearly drowning
2) In high school, successfully jimmied the door to the girls’ locker room in the middle of the night at the request of the entire girls’ volleyball team and their coach
3) Ate a Hardee’s hamburger in a single bite (do not recommend)
4) Passed through an intersection, in town, on a bicycle going so fast that I was physically unable to move the handlebars (despite my best efforts)
5) Played an instrument for 8 years WITHOUT ANYONE EVER MENTIONING CHORDS AND HARMONY
6) Have admitted to voting, in Ohio, in 2000, for RALPH G*D***N NADER D*M**T
7) Had a physician’s assistant accidentally re-break my leg while assessing its progress (ultimate assessment: no progress)
8) Sat through every last agonizing minute of _Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein_, in a theater, seated next to my mother
9) Really enjoyed a root canal
10) Had my tongue accidentally rendered numb for a month
This is fun.
1. My armpit was the subject of an anatomy lesson for a group of Navy Corpsmen. I had nicely skinned it by falling out of a tree that had also served as a fence post and it had some nails sticking out of it which tore open my armpit.
2. I did the composites on the Aptera 2e. A lightweight aerodynamic EV. If it was white I made it.
3. Made parts for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Doing another batch this week. I have also made parts for the Orion Lander.
4. Earned a living as an offhand glass blower for 5 years. And no it does not take strong lungs to blow glass, put the pipe in your mouth with your thumb give a little puff and plug the pipe with your thumb to trap the slight pressure. Heat from the molten glass will make the air expand which will make the bubble grow.
5. I got to chin scratch a cheeta. BIG purrrrrrr and their fur is 3D. The black fur that make their spots is longer than the yellow fur so the spots are also bumps.
6 Jello Biafra, lead singer of the Dead Kennedies, tossed me the mike during a performance.
7. I’ve been evacuated due to a brush fire. The fire was stopped across the street from my house. Not unusual for SoCal but kind of exciting.
I haven’t been hit by a car but a friend in high school got hit in front of the school. He walked away. The poor little early 70’s Honda didn’t fair so well. It had to be towed.
Yes, this is fun. Lessee:
1. Was in the house with two small children when the 1989 earthquake knocked it off its foundation.
2. Helped crew a 26 foot runabout from Nashville to New Orleans on the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. I was tasked with reading the charts and keeping us in the channel.
3. Was once hit in the head by a garrobo (Ctenosaura similis) hurled by a monkey in Manuel Antonio Reserve in Costa Rica. Found a way to turn it into a sermon.
4. I still have one of my baby teeth, a lower incisor.
5. Gave birth to my second child using autohypnosis for the delivery. Still can’t understand why more people don’t use it.
5. In high school I volunteered handling snakes for a botanical garden in Tennessee. Whenever groups in the boxwood mazes began to scream, I was supposed to trot down there, find the terrified green snake at the heart of it, and remove it from the terrified patrons. Not sure whether the snakes or the patrons were more grateful.
6. My left foot appears in a podiatric surgical text as an example of what can go awry with a McBride bunionectomy.
7. Lived for one year in Jerusalem in what had once been a stable.
8. Listened on shortwave radio in 1989 to the Tiananmen Square protests, sitting in my home in California.
9. Earned my living and put my ex-husband through grad school working as a potter in the mountains of Tennessee in the 1970’s.
10. Played a duet with Chet Atkins in a masterclass with Bunyan Webb in Nashville in 1972.
1 Played guitar for a rock opera that featured Cuthulu and Marshall McLuhan as antagonist and protagonist. (Admittedl,y two other people in the world can make this claim.
2 Sheared off the top of another person’s beer glass leaving them holding the jagged stump. (An accident I swear)
3 Sold pornography to a locally famous TV personality
4 Been robbed five times at knife point. (Really should have quit that job a lot sooner, see #3)
5 Had a room mate arrested for terrorism. (The phone was tapped and our house was searched by armed professionals. Not sure if you can count those as separate list items.)
6 Lived with the head of the OTO in my city. (Our living room was the site of ‘Gnostic’ masses once a week. Frankincense sucks.(6a) Had to tell my female room mate that despite her role as ‘everywoman’ I didn’t want to see her naked is said mass because the rest of the time she was my room mate. Different folks than #5)
7 Played guitar for a ‘fashion’ show that featured contortionists and the eating of live mealy grubs among other such things. (Again, two others can make this claim)
8 Took 43 years to buy a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
9 Since #8, have only driven myself to a work day three times in 5 years
10 Spent so long near a fire that the lenses of my glasses melted slightly.
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Thanks for the opportunity.
1. Raced up Mt. Wilson in an Austin Healy Sprite against a friend in his Triumph Spitfire. Crashed the Sprite. No one said these things had to be smart things.
2. Saw the Monkees live in concert twice, Strawberry Alarm Clock once. No one said you had to be proud of these things
3. Spent the better part of two years in a Federal corrections facility, including six weeks “awaiting transportation” in the LA county jail. This for refusing to participate in a war that was later deemed to be a stupid mistake. This one I am proud of.
4. Bought a large Victorian house from a house mover I was working for at the time, helped chop it down to a movable size and hauled it out to an acre of land bought for $1000 in NE Oklahoma. Remodeled it an called it home for several years.
5. Auditioned for Roy Clark of Hee Haw fame. This thanks solely to my talented and beautiful wife’s singing ability. My less than mediocre picking ability was no doubt a factor in not getting the gig.
6. Founding member of a Dallas area start-up that created a unique software product for community banks. Made a bunch of money, retired at 49 and moved to Mexico.
7. Blew a solid six figure retirement roll by age 57 (gambling on Wall Street crap).
8. Worked for an online poker company based in San Jose Costa Rica until age 62. Retired again.
9. Have driven between NE Oklahoma and the Pacific coast of Mexico many, many times. Once passed within earshot (two blocks)of a running gun battle between police/army and a drug gang in Nuevo Laredo. This at two in the afternoon.
10. Lived in a working class Mexican neighborhood in a coastal resort town writing stuff on a magic machine that people all over the world can read. This one is a thing that I “have done”… and am doing.
Bonus Item. Wrote a reasonably successful geek book about programming in Turbo Pascal. Used copies are still for sale on Amazon.com… which didn’t exist until 20+ years after the book was written. It’s called “Using Turbo Pascal”.
Floored: I was not an easy baby.
Some things never change… :-)
bandit: 14. Met Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven for the first time when I threw them out of a party
From what I hear, everyone should throw them out of every party.
cecilia: One can’t not climb Chitzen Itza anymore.
Now that the Red Court is gone, I suppose I can see that.
Floored again: Why do middle-aged people have all the cool experiences?
As others have said, it’s because we’ve had a lot more experiences, period. Some of them are going to be cool. Also, we’re good at making experiences sound cooler than they really are; that just comes with practice.
Floored one more time: Mine stick their tongues through the bars and vacuum up the seed.
Mix the birdseed with crushed red pepper. It will annoy the hell out of the deer (or squirrels); birds won’t even notice it.
OK, here are mine.
1. Met Bill & Hillary Clinton and Lauren Bacall all on the same night.
2. Sang at Carnegie Hall several times; on one of those occasions, I got to take a solo bow as lyricist of one of the pieces.
3. Wrote an ending for an unfinished story by Margot Adler and sent it to her; she liked it well enough to read it on the air. Many years later, wrote a comedy sketch with her as herself and me as everyone else, and performed it with her.
4. Ran a Wiccan coven for 20 years, for five of them solo.
5. Created ritual bits that became sufficiently popular that people claimed they were ancient “traditions.”
6. Had a hemiglossectomy and thus survived cancer.
7. Visited East Berlin while the wall (from that side called the “anti-fascistic protection barrier”) was still up.
8. Sang backup for Kenny Loggins when he opened for the Dalai Lama in 1993.
9. Chided Isaac Asimov for sexism in an elevator.
10. Had a plainclothes cop point a gun with the safety off at my head and threaten to “blow me away” if I didn’t freeze; nearly took it as a joke, which would have been fatal.
11. Sang while watching a close friend die.
12. Had a poem described as “divinely inspired” by a critic (he meant it literally, which actually makes it less of a compliment).
13. As a baby, gave my mother such a spooky look that she (at the time a nice Roman Catholic lady) said “Who were you?”
I’m also a card in a tarot deck, but so are lots of other people.
Usually I only lurk and I doubt I can think of 10 but here goes.
1. Have crocheted over 1000 snowflakes over the years. A conservative estimate. I give them to my co-workers every year.
2.Had 2 cars flooded out. Two different years. I worked for an inventory service at the time and the industrial park we worked out of was a flood plain apparently. I would have quite happily gone without this experience.
3. Had a spontaneous detached retina at age 16.
4. Shared an eye doctor with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because of #3. This was when he was still Lew Alcindor and I didn’t actually get to meet him.
5. Watched Alan Shepard make his flight in my third-grade classroom. I know some of you are old enough to have seen it but probably not all that many of you.
6. Petted a lion cub.
7. Was one of only 3 non-Jewish students in my sixth-grade classroom. The weird thing was that the three of us went to the same church. (one of my most fondly remembered school years.)
8. Shared a podium with Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm. He spoke to our promoting eighth-grade class. I had won the speech contest and spoke at promotion about the virtues of public education.
9. I know this doesn’t make stand out particularly but I am an original Star Trek fan. I saw every episode of the Original Series in its first run. My entire family were fans. We just happened to turn it on that first night and were immediately hooked.
10. This stands for whatever I might think of tomorrow.
When I worked at the SCAD library I got to work on the Don Bluth archives. Dragon Slayer cells! Art for films that never got made!
1. Caught a salmon with my hands.
2. Got kicked out of a primate rehab center at gunpoint close to midnight in the middle of rural Argentina.
3. Ran into Shel Silverstein in a coffee shop and thought he was some creepy guy until another patron enlightened me.
4. Had a male spider monkey sit on my shoulder to chase away the females who were masturbating against my leg (awkward).
5. Thrown rocks at a kookaburra who liked to make noise outside my bedroom window at 5am when my family relocated to Australia for a year.
6. Sent many letters to various online businesses asking them to either add trans* inclusive options to their gender and/or title menus so that I can accurately represent myself when patronizing them.
7. Rode from Luxor in Upper Egypt back to Cairo sitting on the train floor (11 hours) because my friend and I had accidentally bought tickets for the wrong day but needed to get back to the University for classes.
8. Had a wild Patterson’s wallaby touch its nose to my knee while I held extremely still.
9. Written Brokeback Mountain fanfiction.
10. Flew home from South Korea for several friends’ graduation without letting on to anyone that I was coming back. Surprised them at a giant party when they were already drunk – a couple of them thought they had started hallucinating, since I was clearly supposed to be across the world.
A life well-lived so far, I think.
A couple more that I thought of later:
11. I have held an Olympic gold medal. (I taught with Josh Davis’ mother; she brought one to an inservice day.)
12. In college, piled with four friends into a small car and drove from Austin to Dallas and back, overnight, to pick up the stranded-at-airport ex-girlfriend of one of the guys. We saw very little of him for the next several days.
@ Xopher: I use habenero juice. Lots of it. It doesn’t work.
Admittedly, the deer in my development are so many and so hungry that they will eat grass (which wrecks their teeth and is almost indigestible) on occasion.
At first, I did not think I had anything to say.
1. Hit by same car and same driver, twice.
2. Sat in yurt drinking Altai vodka with a Mongol.
3. In my senor class in high school, two of my classmates were murdered by a third.
4. I was in Texas, there was drinking and driving around on dirt roads, and running. I spent a month as an illigal alien in Mexico.
5. Recieved a reserch grant and did science.
Y’all have lived interesting lives…
1. Had mine and my brothers SAY Soccer games reported as ” the foosball scores” on overnight country radio (WUBE) by Edsel Fairbanks, part time DJ and full time steel worker. Actually he was Doug Anthony, my Dad, who was the news director at the time.
2. Written news copy for said radio station when I was 10.
3. Scored a championship goal in a tiebreaker game… with a bicycle kick no less.
4. Had 2 separate endoscopies to remove food stuck in my esophagus.
5. Saved a no hitter in little league with a diving catch. Got hit on the knee in my next at bat.
6. Won Nanowrimo in 2011… no that novel still isn’t actually finished.
7. Did a ten minute stand up set on a non amatuer night. Killed.
8. Co founded an improv group, the Cincinnati Funky Eskimos.
9. Rode the now defunct Witches Cauldrons at Kings Island with Davey Concepcion.
10. Run from one end of the San Diego Zoo to the other with jogging stroller because there was no way you were getting me onto that deathtrap of a sky ride back to the entrance. Bonus, only one in the family who got to see the Koalas.
What a fun and interesting thread!
1. Became licensed as a dental x-ray technician while still in high school, and did that in my dad’s dental office.
2. Worked on the first all-female smudging crew in southern Oregon (also in high school) lighting diesel oil burners during cold nights to protect fruit tree orchards.
3. Met Julie Andrews while delivering sheet music to her home in Malibu.
4. Broke 3 toes on my left foot by catching that foot on a corner of a wall while chasing my younger brother.
5. Spent New Year’s Eve in 1982 extremely sea-sick on the ferry from Italy to Greece.
6. Reconciled 4.4 million dollars of activity over 1.5 years to within $0.27.
7. Saw performances by Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle with my uncle playing in the orchestra.
8. Learned how to use a sheet-rock lift, and when I rented one once, knew more about how to take it apart (to fit in my vehicle) than the guy at the rental yard.
9. Have had barfing pumpkins, cannibal pumpkins, and a pumpkin snowman (3 pumpkins stacked on a length of rebar) in the yard for Halloween.
10. Fly hanggliders. The longest flight I’ve had was over 2 hours.
This is turning into a trip down memory lane.
1 drove off a ten foot embankment landed wheels up, and drove away after a tractor had to pull me out because a tow truck could not get in there.
2 went to prom with a girl I called on a wrong number. She had no idea who I was when she said yes, I had an idea but I was wrong.
3 had a goldwing fall over comming off the Golden Gate Bridge, had to hold it up until my girlfriend scrambled off and blew out my shoulder as a result.
4 sang America the beautiful driving through arches national park
5 I have a picture on file with the smithsonian
6 stood up to a regional president of the sons of silence knowing that if it came down to a fight they would never find my body
7 hit a cat doing 140 mph on a drag bike
8 had an extra tooth pulled and my canine teeth ground down against my will
9 rode A1A and us 101 bracketing the country
10 got accepted to MIT but could not attend because my parents refused to fill out the paperwork.
1. Been the candidate for a major political party for national office.
2. Studied under a Nobel prize-winner
3. Was on the last train through a country (Yugoslavia, 1991: the country stopped existing before the next train ran)
4. Used the WWW in 1992.
5. Wrote code for the Large Hadron Collider.
6. Had two roommates attempt suicide, by the same means, within a month of each other.
7. Have both stood for and administered elections for the same office (not the same year)
8. Been chloroformed by criminals
9. Climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa before they put the safety fences up
10. Travelled to 15 countries without leaving my home continent.
1. At the banks of the Onon River I poured its water over my head. Mongolia. Should go without saying I rode on the steppes of Mongolia on a Mongol pony for three days.
2. I lived on a tropical island as a kid (Guam). It was everything you’d expect.
3. Literally ‘ran’ into a sea turtle in 80′ of water north of Oahu. That thing made ME look like a turtle as it swam away.
4. Swam with a barracuda in Hanauma Bay. One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. Mesmerizing.
5. Hid in a dumpster for 3 hours with an APB out on me. Escaped. Back when I was fairly young and very stupid.
6. Fell on my face onto a sidewalk as a child. Hands were tied to my legs when it happened. Doctor was surprised I didn’t break my jaw. Yeah, front teeth were dust.
7. Have gone 130mph on a CBR 600. And, yes, when I was fairly young and very stupid.
8. Drew a picture of Pope Paul VI when in elementary, and the nuns sent it to him. The Holy See replied, thanking me and promising to say a mass for me. Buddhist now, but still makes me smile.
9. Reserving this for something I have in the works.
10. Reserving this for something I have in the works.
I have helped my daughter graduate on to Graduate School
gone back to school (Currently happening)
been in an accident that totals every White car that I have driven
Taught classes on folklore, Superstitions and fortune telling (yes, really)
Had poetry published
Invented a cookie recipe
Met Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson (Geddy is short!)
Worked as an electrician, sheetrock finisher, roofer, air conditioning technician
Been married more than 25 years
LIved in California, Illinois, South Carolina, Germany, Nevada, Colorado and Idaho
1. I do not have, and have never had, wisdom teeth. They never formed; I like to think that all of the wisdom simply diffused throughout my body, and that I represent the next step in human evolution.
2. Contrary to my assertion of enhanced wisdom, I once drunkenly knocked/ pushed an air conditioner out of a third floor window. In a display of ridiculous reflexes that have never been otherwise evident, I managed to catch it by the power cord and thereby prevent it from landing on the car parked below, but causing it to pendulum through the window of the second floor apartment.
3. I have driven from the East Coast to Las Vegas in a rental car three times. (Once from Savannah, twice from DC.) This spawned a variety of stories that would fit within the theme, but involve more explanation than warranted by the payoff.
Due to my job (I work as a lobbyist for an environmental non-profit) I have a lot of meeting-politicians/ drafting legislation stories, but a few stand out as being more unique than others:
4. When he was a Member of Congress, Rahm Emmanuel called me a shithead. This one is probably true of many people.
5. While in the bowels of the Capitol itself, I heard two familiar voices arguing over some minutiae of Medicare policy. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry were coming up an escalator and debating actual policy with no expectation of anyone hearing them, as I was in a semi-restricted area.
6. I recently sat next to Sen. Al Franken for 45 minutes while the Capitol was on lockdown.
Floored: Capsaicin (the hot in peppers) is an oil, and it’s not soluble in water. So the juice isn’t really the key. Dice up the hobbies and put them in entirely (of course, wear eye and hand protection while cutting them, and keep the contact-lens solution handy – it dissolves capsaicin should the worst happen).
Alternatively, you can make habanero extract oil. Here’s a heuristic for making it. Follow the instructions exactly. She says the olive oil “doesn’t have to be” virgin, and in fact it’s better if it’s a lighter olive oil (higher smoke point).
@ Xopher: I blend the peppers and mix them with the seed (after cutting off the tips of the peppers, which do not contain capsaicin and have a very unusual and enjoyable tase). I always use gloves and chemistry lab-grade eye protection.
Still doesn’t work.
Hmm. I guess you have fire-eating deer!
Heh. Nah, just starving deer. Overpopulation and all that.
I have also done 10 things that you probably haven’t…. http://weowls.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/ten-things-ive-done-that-you-probably-havent/
@narmitaj – yours beat mine! Looks like I overlapped with you in Beirut although you were older than me. Smallish world :)
Another for me – have petted a tiger, cuddled a koala, and touched a green turtle while diving (in retrospect, wouldn’t do that last one again … was on an intro dive with a dive master who had me do it). Tigers have really rough fur.
Sea turtles are awesome. I’ve done two 2-week stints of patrolling for nesting loggerheads, tagging and measuring them, and relocating the eggs to hatcheries. Have never been around during hatching season, though.
1. Like many people here, I’ve been hit by a car. (Well, sideswiped by a van. Managed to land nicely enough. No injuries)
2. Been shot at on two different continents.
3. Listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu speak live in two different countries, in two different languages, managing to follow both. (That guy can orate…)
4. Floated in the Dead Sea. Seriously, if you get the opportunity, take it! Just don’t shave for 24 hours beforehand. That stuff *stings.*
5. Met and had a very brief conversation with Wil Wheaton. (Maybe not all that unique in this group. He’s a really nice guy.)
6. Became an Eagle Scout. (This was a bigger deal for me before I realized that BSA as an organization and I have irreconcilable differences. Still, it’s a useful skillset.)
7. Finally learned to ride a bike at the age of 33, immediately started commuting to work by bike at good portion of the time
8. Taught myself to read at the age of four, mostly so I could read my dad’s comic books. (Thank you, Electric Company!)
9. Managed to make it to the age of 34 before needing to buy a car. (To take my kid to school)
10. Played with liquid nitrogen.
Also, I’m two degrees from Kevin Bacon.
This is fun! Here’s my list:
1. Was blessed by Mother Teresa
2. Hit by a bus and came away with just bruising and a concussion (hooray for luck!)
3. Got 24 stitches in 4 locations, all above the neck, and all before I was 5 (I’m lucky my parents didn’t turn me in for a less accident-prone model)
4. Rode an ostrich
5. Once dressed up as a tissue box for halloween
6. Can say “Where is your camel?” in four languages, well, five including English (it’s a bit of a family joke)
7. Permanently burned off three of the fingerprints on one hand by grabbing onto a stove coil
8. Went to junior high school with a few of Nelson Mandela’s grandkids
9. Once worked a job where one of the perks was getting to watch vehicle crash tests
10. Drove with my family for many hours to watch a sea turtle hatching in the middle of the night (I was starting to hit the dregs, so thanks Lila for the idea to put this one down!)
I now want to go out for drinks with everyone and hear the stories behind their lists
Blogged about this here: https://kyremee.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/ten-things-ive-done-that-you-probably-havent/
01) Managed to break a tooth implant while eating a piece of bread.
02) Celebrated the 4th of July with US-soldiers stationed in Berlin.
03) Crawled through a hole in the Berlin Wall.
04) Walked on the river Havel and underneath the Glienecke Bridge in the winter of 1989/90
05) As a tea-drinker, taught an adult coffee-addict how to work a coffee-machine. (I’m still convinced he flooded the kitchen on purpose so that he would get out of making coffee.)
06) Lived and worked for three months in Florida.
07) Had to evacuate due to a hurricane. (Okay, if you’re in the US or another country that regularly has hurricanes then this might not be too unusual but not so much for someone from Europe.)
08) Broke my little toe while doing a pirouette.
09) Had a debate with my boss about how long it took me to load and unload a dishwasher and why.
10) During my one attempt to fish I managed to catch part of an oyster shell.
The historic monuments I have made out with people in front of are all older than the one John made out with someone in front of.
This is not really an accomplishment, but I am otherwise not particularly unique.
1. Made multiple emergency room trips for dog walking injuries (one broken ankle, and a separate and unrelated set of stitches).
2. Stopped carrying photographs of my children, and instead refer to illustrations and oil paintings in which they are featured.
3. Created a rudimentary sodium-vapor light by running an electric current through a pickle.
4. Touched a Van Gogh painting with my fingers. It was an accident.
Following this thread has made me realize how many of my favorite experiences were things many other people have also done, and that we paid to do.
Whale-watching off Stellwagen Bank (VASTLY exceeded my expectations)
Seeing Baryshnikov’s “Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center at age 14 (nearly died of the sheer awesome)
Seeing Cirque du Soleil live
Seeing the King Tut treasures (twice; once in DC and again over 30 years later in Atlanta)
Visiting Mesa Verde (part of a thoroughly satisfactory road trip, our last with all 3 kids before the eldest moved on to college)
Tagging sea turtles
Singing the Verdi Requiem with a combined school and community choir and orchestra of about 300 people (may not have had to pay for this one as my college choir was involved)
And one of the experiences I still hope to have before I die is of that ilk as well:
Attending Viable Paradise (of course, being able to pay for it is only a small part of the necessary qualifications).
I have been hit by a car as well, but I just had a concussion. I was knocked unconscious, and I have no memory of the event. I do remember walking to the gas station and trying to cross the street.
Also, I still have one of my baby teeth. I’m 34 and my dentist has advised to me to take care of that and the rest of my teeth because no more will be coming in.
1) Gotten stuck for 3 hours on a glacier in Alaska while waiting for a new airplane to pick my parents and I up.
2) Mistakenly herded sheep while hitchhiking in Ireland.
3) Been served shrimp cocktail in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
4) Watching my parents renewing their vows in a Blue-Hawaii themed Elvis wedding in Vegas with two separate Elvises, one of them under 5 ft high.
5) Ran around my college campus and through classrooms dressed up as Sue from Ms. Pac-Man with the other ghosts and Pac-Man.
6) Have interviewed Bill Nye. He carries a copy of the periodic table in his wallet!
7) Seen the only remaining head of a dodo complete with skin. It’s stored in the back storage area of the Oxford Museum of Natural History.
8) Walked around downtown Oxford dressed in a sheet with a logo on it and worshiping random corporate stores – McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. – as the group sang parodies of Christmas carols.
9) Seen a tapir in the wild in the Amazon jungle.
10) Biked 10 miles while seven months pregnant and eating a dozen cookies as an integral part of the ride.
I’ll bet you’ve never bellydanced at a forty-year-old man’s patio party with “Happy Birthday Woofer” written on your belly, which you hand-painted yourself with nail polish, because you’d mastered the art of writing from upside-down on your own naked belly :)
There are some fabulous lists above. And what a great game to play. Here’s mine:
1. Rode a bicycle from Kathmandu to Colombo
2. Met a Chinese mayor who’s now in jail for corruption
3. Was given a full body search upon re-entering Australia once (no drugs were found)
4. Lived in a tent for around two years
5. Accepted a lift to my hotel from a stranger after I missed my train stop in Brussels late one night (and no taxi could be summoned). Turned out he was a drugged up porno actor who – after a variety of staggeringly bad driving decisions – evaded police in a short chase around the central part of the city. I eventually made it to the hotel…
6. Had the second thumb on one hand amputated when I was 18 months old.
7. Was on a flight once that left 30 minutes earlier than scheduled (in China, and surely some kind of record)
8. Was in Dhaka during March 2003 when the US invaded Iraq. The morning after the first wave of US forces entered, I went with a Bangladeshi friend into a local restaurant where the front page of every paper was condemning the US. Quite tense, even with a prominent trade unionist friend to explain I was not an American or supporter of the invasion.
9. Was held up on a lonely road in northern India by a gentleman brandishing a double-barreled shotgun.
10. Sanded blackboards in a factory before the final coat of (very deep green, not black) paint was applied. Do they even make blackboards any more?
1) Stuck my hand into the stomach of a live cow through a hole in its side (glad I did it, never want to again)
2) Visited the Australian Synchrotron
3) Been in an aeroplane over Antarctica, including Mount Erebus
4) Built a (small) railgun
5) Visited another country aged 13 without any accompanying family members.
6) Extracted my own DNA, suspended it in a vial of preserving fluid, and gave it to my mother as a gift
7) Won “Best in Fair” at my regional science fair, aged 12
8) Shook hands with New Zealand’s Governor General, Jerry Mateparae
9) Was a last-minute addition to the Otago (Field) Hockey Collier 2nd XI in 2010 because I was the only available goalkeep they knew
10) Wrote an article for pay aged 11 (sweet, sweet Canadian money).
I thought one for my #9.
9. I’ve eaten Icelandic rotten shark (Hákarl).
Oh! Oh! I didn’t think I had ten at first, but I guess I do.
1. Got into an accident making a left hand turn out of a gas station… with someone else making a left hand turn off an parallel street… in the left turn lane of a perpendicular road (I had a phobia of left hand turns there for a good while).
2. Passed the MTTC General and Specialized, and the Praxis tests, all on my first try.
3. Tutored in multiple subjects I’ve never even studied (Cognitive science, philosophy of ethics, and medical terminology). I was also able to explain quantum theory to a small child.
4. Took (free) classes in the following subject matters for the hell of it: Virology, Biotechnology and Behavior, Machine Intelligence (I learned about Neural Networks), Astrobiology, Mathematical Thinking, Basics of Networking, Neurology and the Brain, and several others I can’t remember.
5. Dealt with the combined effects of an abscessed tooth, maxillary sinus infection, and impacted ear wax. That was not a fun four months.
6. I’ve substitute taught in every subject at every grade level from K-12, and I work at an undergraduate private college, so I’ve been involved in every aspect of education K-Adult.
7. Was diagnosed with ADHD and depression while doing my student teaching, began a regime of medication and psychiatric treatments during my student teaching, and still completed my student teaching to get my degree and certification. I also graduated cum laude and had silver cords, with a GPA of 4.3
8. Self-published a novel
9. Taught myself the International Phonetic Alphabet. I also taught myself numerous languages: I’m fluent in Old English and Modern English, obtained modest fluency in Portuguese over the course of four days (a single weekend, actually), can carry on limited conversations in German and French, can transliterate Ancient Greek, and I’ve been exposed to and can recognize Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, Thai, Hindi, Bengali, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, and Mongolia. I know a handful of isiZulu noun classes, I can transliterate Thai (that’s a real pain, though), and I can recognize and am in the process of learning Spanish.
10. I can draw a world map and label all of the countries from memory.
I like this game; I get to show off :)
1. Caused a soccer club to start allowing girls to play soccer (this was before girls’ teams were even a thing — I played in a team made up of boys and me).
2. Been checked for a skull fracture but didn’t even have a concussion.
3. Rescued a world-famous opera singer’s e-mail from a corrupted floppy disk.
4. Been hugged by the The Wizard of New Zealand.
5. Been hugged by the first Health Minister of Timor-Leste.
6. Blown a hole in a half-inch-thick sheet of rubber with 40,000 volts.
7. Left a session at a science communication conference to write a poem.
8. Held a 2″ long miniature of Gimli’s axe made by Weta Workshop. It had “KICK ARSE” carved into the blades right near the handle.
9. Been a teenage hooker. (When I was 14 I played rugby, and “hooker” is the name of one of the field positions. I was only a hooker because I could throw straight.)
10. Torn the meniscus in my left knee by sitting down.
Err.. that should be 3.4, not 4.3.
For all of the above, math is the one area that I remain very weak.
Don’t know if I can come up with 10. I’ll try.
1. Was a bass handbell techniques clinician at a 5 state festival at age 19.
2. When I was 5, head-butted a brick grill at full running speed while pretending I was the bull from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. And didn’t sustain serious injury, as evidenced by:
3. Asked my first-grade teacher why we weren’t just hyphenating words at the end of lines instead of having to move the whole word down.
4. Caught a 3 foot shark and a 5 foot snake, both by hand, on the same day, on Tybee Island, GA. The snake was just a rat snake that I moved out of the road on the way to the beach, and the shark was swimming very weakly, obviously dying, and I only did it to get it away from some kids.
5. Landed on my elbow during a bicycle wreck hard enough to bounce, but didn’t break the bone.
6. Sideswiped an 18-wheeler in a Toyota Tercel and came out without a scratch.
7. Got my parents an hour with a celebrity as an anniversary gift.
8. Got rejected by 9 different girls for the same school dance.
9. During puberty, grew 8 inches and lost a pound in a year. Went from “husky” to slim in the process.
10. Made the first find of a rare species of dragonfly outside of its initially described watershed.
Snake Caesarian with a kitchen knife. (My father was into herpetology.)
I will probably not reach 10 either but whatever…
1) I have a boat named after me (an actual big boat)
2) I’ve been held by Danny Kaye and he said I looked like Kojak (I was 9 months old & still bald as the eagle)
3) I’ve travelled on the Transibirian railroad, from Moscow to Beijing (then on to Shanghai), all on my own (I’m a girl so it’s not all that common I think)
4) I managed to go 25 years without breaking a single bone (that’s an achivement in it’s on actually with the life I’ve lived) only to break my finger as it got stuck in the wheel chair I was goofing around in when I went underneath a fridge door and tipped backwards
5) I’ve been in an ambulance every time I’ve visited Italy (that’s three times total, two of them I was the patient and the third I was “only” riding along with my friend who was the patient)
6) I’ve had my sports bra up in flagpoles in four different countries; Sweden (multiple times in multiple cities), the Netherlands (2 citys), Belgium & Italy (this is thanks to my team mates and it wasn’t the one and same bra since this went on for years, don’t you just love sports and hazing/pranks?)
7) I helped develope an entire new form of outdoor gym that is now starting to spread over my entire country (being from a small country it’s not much to brag about but it’s something)
8) Been featured in a porno mag as a minor but only found this out a couple of years ago (don’t worry though, I was almost fully dressed, apparently the basketball team I sub’ed for was sponsored by this mag and they posted a group shot of us after we’d won this game)
I almost made it to 10, could probably go on but 9) Have a hard time completing/finishing things off but then again I’m not alone on that one ;)
I don’t know if I can think of 10 things that are particularly notable.
I am the voice of some of the internal phone system options at a major, international financial company (which I won’t name, but I did work in the IT department for a time).
I purchased and ran a coffee shop, during a recession. And then sold it the same year for more money.
I’ve had a section of my cervical spine cut open to remove a large hunk o’ cancer, metal stabilizing hardware inserted, then had same metal removed a year later, more spine cut up and larger hunks of metal inserted. (There is so much metal in there, I didn’t need a neck brace. Doc told me “you could be hit by a truck on the highway, and your neck would be fine. You’d have multiple compound fractures and head trauma, but your neck would be solid.” Thanks doc. Good to know.)
That’s all I can think of. Not that extraordinary.
1) I’ve dropped out of high school three times
2) Despite never actually graduating from high school (see #1) or getting a GED, I have a bachelors, two masters, and am working on my PhD
3) I’ve apprenticed with a chocolatier
4) I’ve sung Cole Porter in front of a live audience while sitting on the accompanying piano
5) I’ve been a designer on two educational games that are being used in classrooms
6) When I started pre-calculus, I didn’t know what a function was – I got single digits on the first test, but finished the year with an A
7) I’ve been proposed to three times – and none of them were by my fiancé
8) I dyed my hair “like a marigold” to match the flowers at my brother’s wedding
9) I’ve re-read all the books in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series at least 100 times apiece (seriously – so ask me a question!)
10) I’ve thrown a live grenade
Luna, the neck thing. That just blows me away. Wow.
Interesting. Lets see:
1- I have worked in three countries other than the US.
2- I had to evacuate from Ben Gurion Airport during a bomb scare.
3- I have been confused for the son of Dr James Watson (of Watson and Crick) who shares my exact name and is 3 years younger than myself. We grew up less than 15 miles apart and our Fathers have the same name as well.
4- I have cycle commuted over 15000 total miles over 20 years.
5- I had a deer jump over me in the early morning on a cycle path a few years ago.
6- I have been chased by coyotes multiple times, it wasn’t predatory just curious I think but I admit my pace picked up quite a bit.
7- I rappelled down onto a knot in my rope while descending a 50 meter free rappel in Arapiles, AUS. I was stuck for three hours until a Romanian team helped rescue me with the Australian climbing group I was with. I descended first rather than the grandmother or the pregnant woman. The Grandmother had related to me that the pregnant woman had previously gotten her hair caught in her belay device on the same descent. After the event I sent prusiks to the climbing club. I suck at ascending ropes and failed to do it with the slings I had with me. Luckily I was in the shade. (random sample of various rock climbing stories)
8- During the 2009 STP I hit a pothole at 35mph and went down on my side. My rim needed to be bent back into shape with pliers. I rode another 130 miles that day. Then next day I rode another 50. Here is a collage of that http://www.flickr.com/photos/10231719@N02/3735968654/in/photolist-6G8PjE-6KQndn
9- I leased an electric car (ford focus electric). Great vehicle if you can’t bike.
10- I rode a velomobile in the 2010 STP (210 miles in one day) – pic- http://www.flickr.com/photos/10231719@N02/4857620374/in/photolist-8pfziq-8pf4Pu-8pbTPP-8pf5cj-8pbTvz-8pbTCH-8pbToZ
Wrestled a (young, trained) bear at the age of five.
My 10 with full explanations got eaten so here is an abbreviated list:
1)Got hit by a car while in bed (cinder block from block bedroom wall hit me in head when car came thru wall and pushed bed across room).
2)Had a collision with a boat while riding a bicycle (boat was on trailer on street)
3)Flew backward in an airplane (J-3 stall speed less than wind speed)
4)First went to public school and learned to write at age 8, went to community college at age 11 (4.0 gpa but quit to go to high school after one semester), AP State Scholar at 15, BSEE at age 19
5)Wired my first control panel from schematic at age 6 (it didn’t work, I was mortified, but error was with schematic), worked my first Davis Bacon job at 12 (got to crawl into 18 inch storm drains on that first project).
6)Loaded 16 tons of coke breeze by hand at night after laying pipe in the AZ sun for 12 hours first.
7)Was issued my PE registration by CA 3 years before I was of legal age.
8)Did 110mph on the Arroyo Seco. Also raced over Mt Wilson (still alive by grace).
9)Was a passenger when my ex-girlfriend drag-raced a cop (he let us go).
10)Have seen elephant seals fight in person (on San Nicolas island).
I think most of us have invented a pie. At 2 AM. Drunk. From vending machine ingredients.
Coming in late, a bunch of these are variations on things other people have said
1) used my Swiss army knife to cut through vines that were blocking my way a fire escape–during an actual fire
2) climbed all the way to the top of Notre Dame de Paris (the last part is 131 spiral steps, with no rail or landing)
3) eaten both teriyaki-fried crickets and duck blood (some of you can probably identify the instigator here)
4) repeatedly ridden the 7 (Flushing) IRT train standing between cars, just because it was more fun, and they hadn’t gotten around to locking those doors in 1976
5) Insisted on a root canal for a wisdom tooth because I was sure it would hurt less than having the tooth pulled
6) sold chocolate-covered frozen bananas from a cart on the sidewalk
7) hopped off a Greyhound bus at an unscheduled stop in Harlem, rather than go to the bus terminal
8) entered the United States from both Canada and Mexico without being asked for ID (no points for guessing my skin color)
9) visited railroad museums on three continents
10) been asked (and paid) for rights to one of my vacation photos by the University of Waterloo
I can’t make 10, but . . . here’s my 5:
1) Lost the brakes on my car while headed downhill into an intersection
2) Appeared in a Stephen Spielberg movie (I was one of the swimmers in the second beach-panic scene in “Jaws”).
3) Published two books in each of three consecutive years (2011-2013)
4) Recovered and published (on a listserv) the complete lyrics of a satirical WWII-era US Navy folk song about General Douglas MacArthur
5) Took a regularly scheduled (domestic!) commercial airline flight on a Douglas DC-3
Greg Leon Guerrero
October 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm
“Luna, the neck thing. That just blows me away. Wow.”
Heh, yeah. I forget which vertebra are fused, but I’m inclined to say it’s C5 down to T2. *thinks… counts* Yeah, 5 of them fused. I’ve only lost about 20% mobility though. Most of your neck motion happens around C1-2. They sacrificed 7 nerves as well, but I can still use my hands, and I don’t pee in a bag, so it’s a win. :)
1) Been run over by a freight train
2) Had my portrait hung in a show at the UN
Let’s see… 10 interesting things I’ve done that not everyone would have done as well… Not sure how long my list will be, but here goes.
1· Camped on a southern California beach with friends and shared an omelette made from one Ostrich egg with the group (8 adults and several children. This is a BIG egg!)
2. Hoisted onto the surface of an oil rig via crane while it was being provisioned in Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian islands.
3. Ran into a guy I went to grade school with while walking in the Piazza San Marcos in Venice.
4. Had one of the best times ever on a horseback ride/camp out at a dude ranch in Wyomingwith my daughter when she was 10.
5. Went zip lining in Costa Rica with same daughter (she was in college).
6. Completed my 3rd Masters degree, and had daughter watch me walk for graduation. A month later, watched her get her bachelor’s.
7. Attended the last three Worldcons (OK, maybe not that unusual – but they sure we’re fun!)
8. Played my first LARPs this year (at the age of 62).
9.Chased a pair of raccoons out of my yard with a broom.
10. Watched as my beautiful daughter got married.
Wonderful post! Here is my own list for all to see. I hope you enjoy it!
1. Created a fake language loosely based on the Texas German dialect. (It is still in progress.)
2. Had the first fiction short story that I ever submitted for publication actually accepted on the first attempt and introduced as the lead story of the anthology.
3. Married my husband on my grandfather’s 90th birthday. (We gave Grandpa his own personal birthday cake during the wedding reception.)
4. Had one of my art photos featured on a screen in Times Square as part of an international art exhibition.
5. “Slime skated” down a zoo’s empty flamingo habitat pond while cleaning it. (I promptly bruised my hip after the first successful attempt.)
6. Photographed historic Fort Davis and photographed present-day cowboys herding horses across one of the oldest working ranches in Texas along with Official Texas State Photographer Wyman Meinzer.
7. Had a gopher family in my backyard and a wolf hybrid next door while I was living in the middle of a city.
8. Met and watched Grandmaster Sekiguchi Komei, the 21st direct-line headmaster of Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryua, teach a iaijutsu (traditional Japanese sword fighting) class in my sensei’s own dojo.
9. Celebrated my 21st birthday on Bourbon Street in New Orleans just 10 months before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. (I still have the Pat O’Brien’s souvenir glass from the celebration.)
10. Caught and released a live bat that was trapped in my own dorm hall. (I was a freshman at Texas A&M University at the time. I found it flying around on the fourth floor of my dormitory, so I put on a pair of gloves and trapped it with a mesh laundry bag when it finally landed. Neither it nor I was injured during its capture or its subsequent release in the park area outside.)
The original post and its links can be found at: alyciachristine.com
In no particular order
1. Stopped a runaway car at age 13 on a dirt road in Yosemite. Jumped in the drivers seat when the owner stepped out and his kid put it in gear.
2. Got hit by a truck about 2 seconds after getting knocked off my motorcycle. That’s 2 accidents for the price of one. Only broke one bone.
3. Flew in a B17 and no I’m not that old.
4. Went to a nude beach by way of swimming in from a sailboat.
5. Got food poisoning from a famous fast food establishment and outdid Linda Blair’s scene in the Exorcist in a gas station restroom.
6. Rode the Matterhorn at Disneyland 6 times in a row with no waits in line.
7. Once offered to do a felony entry search for a deputy if he would loan me his weapon. He declined.
8. Have carried over $30,000 cash on airplanes on several occasions. Legally.
That’s about it.
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