Monthly Archives: February 2009

My 25 Random Things

I finally got around to writing my 25 Random Things post on Facebook. I’m sharing it here as well…

1. I’m a first generation American. My Dad is Dutch and my Mom is Swedish.

2. I spent every other summer in Sweden until I was about 13 years old. I didn’t realize how special that was until I was much older.

3. I used to draw all the time when I was a kid. For some reason I stopped the drawing after junior high but I’d like to pick it up again someday.

4. I’ve loved music since I was a little kid but the only instruments that I learned to play are the recorder and the clarinet. Does the recorder count as an instrument?

5. I’d like to learn how to play the guitar someday.

6. I hate to throw things away. I still have my old yearbooks, drawings, and many school assignments. 4th grade report on the state of Nebraska? Check. Creative writing samples from 8th grade? Check.

7. My wife and my brother share the same birthday.

8. I got into U.C. Berkeley but I decided to go to UCSB instead. Why? Looking back on it now it probably has something to do with my brother going there (a year ahead of me) and me wanting to break off and do my own thing.

9. When I was growing up I wanted to be either a professional soccer player or an architect.

10. I got a degree in Mechanical Engineering but I didn’t work one day as an engineer. And I’m not very handy.

11. I’m a gadget freak. Some of my favorites are iPhone, SONOS, TiVo, and SlingBox. I’ve owned four different models of the iPod.

12. I’ve had some kind of “home page” on the web since 1998

13. I’ve gone scuba diving in the Virgin Islands, Belize, Maui, Kauai, and French Polynesia

14. My great great great grandfather was the head of a Dutch Trading post in the early 1800’s. He wrote the first Dutch-Japanese dictionary and some say he introduced beer to Japan.

15. I can watch these movies over and over: “Spinal Tap”, “Waiting for Guffman”, “Best In Show”, “Office Space”

16. I’ve lived in California my entire life. These are the towns where I’ve lived at least a few months: El Cerrito, Isla Vista (UCSB), Hermosa Beach, Mira Mesa (San Diego), Irvine, Laguna Hills, San Ramon, Danville, and San Francisco.

17. My wife Shana and I were on one of those home decorating shows on HGTV. Shoot me a message if you’d like to see the video.

18. I prefer cool, foggy weather to hot, dry weather.

19. I have a bad habit of taking things for granted sometimes.

20. I’m reading a lot more online versus reading books these days. I’d like to change this.

21. I was painfully skinny all the way though high school and into college. That is no longer the case. : )

22. I turned 40 last year. When I was a kid, 40 sounded so old but now that I’m here, it’s not so bad.

23. I was unemployed for about 4 months in late 2008. That wasn’t fun.

24. The top three moments of my life so far: my wedding day and the births of my two boys

25. When I first heard about the 25 Things meme, I immediately thought of this famous (fake?) college application essay:

“I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat . 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.”

links for 2009-02-03