Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Things Pertaining to, about, Or Otherwise Concerning Me

Well, because of the ironclad Someone On Facebook Tagged Me rule, I'm now obliged to list 25 things about myself.

That said:

1. When I was a kid, I had a terrible stuttering problem, such that I had to ride the short bus twice a week from the Catholic school I attended to a nearby public school, where I took speech therapy.

2. My wife, Jocelyn -- who is the most beautiful woman in the world -- and I have four kids, and we're expecting our fifth in April. When people ask us how many children we want, we honestly tell them we don't know, but that we have no plans to stop any time soon.

3. It greatly bothers me when people throw things away that could be recycled.

4. I rarely go out to eat, but when I do, I believe it's critically important to tip at least 20%.

5. I think it's terribly rude to not say, "Thank you" to a server when he brings you your food at a restaurant.

6. I enjoy long, impassioned discussions about things that many other people would consider not worth arguing about.

7. I am probably the only person I know who is a fan of the Tridentine Mass (the "old" Latin Mass), and who doesn't mind a polka Mass. (Truth be told, I've only been to a polka Mass once in my life, but I rather liked it.)

8. I'm of the opinion that cluttering up people's inboxes with forwarded e-mails is one of the most annoying things a person can do.

9. I took a sick day from work on December 2, 2003, and before that, the last time I missed a day of school or work due to sickness prior to that was when I was in sixth grade (1989-1990). Since 12/2/03, I have taken only one sick day for myself, on October 17, 2008, when I had pink eye, although I would contend that that day would require a Roger Maris-like asterisk placed next to it, as Jocelyn was on her fifth straight day of being sick with a bad case of pneumonia, so I probably would have stayed home that day anyway to take care for her and watch our kids.

10. Although I've never lived in New York City myself, I've been there three times, and find the city utterly fascinating.

11. For many of the past eight winters, I've grown a beard, mostly because I like not having to worry about taking the time to shave in the morning.

12. I once ate a Pop Tart whose outside wrapper had been opened for at least a month. Before eating it, I said, a la Homer Simpson, "Mmmmmm.....month-old Pop Tart...aaaaaagggggghhhhhhh." Believe it or not, it tasted no different than a Pop Tart that had just been opened a few seconds earlier. Can you imagine how many preservatives must be in one of those things? (It might also be worth noting that I've not eaten a Pop Tart since.)

13. I'm a big fan of musicals. Among my favorites are "The Music Man", "Guys & Dolls", "Anything Goes", and "Fiddler on the Roof" (the last three of which I've had parts in productions thereof).

14. I think putting cry rooms in churches is an extraordinarily stupid idea.

15. I started drinking coffee when I started student-teaching, during my senior year of college. Every teacher I had in grade school and high school, as far as I can remember, drank coffee, so I figured all teachers probably did. In turn, I figured I'd better start. I hated it at first -- probably because I started on instant -- but I soon grew to like it. Now I love coffee, and drink 3-4 cups a day.

16. Most of the clothes I wear I've either received as gifts, or else I've bought at thrift stores. Some of my clothes I've had since high school, and at least one shirt I still wear I've had since 8th grade.

17. I have strongly held opinions on parenting, but when I talk to new or prospective parents, I always try to avoid giving parenting advice, preferring instead to tell them that if they'd like our advice, we'd be happy to give it if they'd like it. (This is largely because when Jocelyn and I were expecting Teresa, our first child, not a few people gave us entirely unsolicited advice -- most of which we didn't agree with. This, I thought, was terribly intrusive.)

18. I try to use archaic words whenever possible (e.g., "motorcar" instead of "car"; "aeroplane" instead of "airplane"; "constable" instead of "policeman" -- well, you get the idea).

19. I tend to admire people who are cynical toward most of the other members of their professions. This is most evident, I think, in my attitude toward doctors. If I (or more likely, somebody else in our family, per #9) get sick, I don't want to go to some AMA lackey who managed to not fail out of medical school; I want to go to someone who realizes that medicine is about treating not just the body, but the whole human person.

20. I have a shrew-like metabolism, and I like to eat (or at least don't mind eating) just about anything -- with one of few exceptions being eggplant.

21. I once came up with a theory that if a white guy was born in the 1970s, and if he was a geek during high school, then during those same high school years, it's a near certainty that he also had a fanatical devotion to one of three bands: Rush, Yes, or Jethro Tull. (I later added Pink Floyd as a fourth possibility, per the suggestion of my co-worker Matt Yonke.)

My fanatical devotion during high school was to Rush.

22. When I ride my bike to work -- which I frequently like to do during the spring, summer, and fall months -- the 12-mile commute often takes less time than it does on days when I drive.

23. My favorite writer is G.K. Chesterton.

24. At one time in my life, shortly after I started college, I believed that "overpopulation" posed a serious problem for the world, and had doubts about the Catholic Church's teaching against contraception. When I discovered that overpopulation, um, wasn't a problem, that prompted me to learn more about the Church's teachings on sexuality.

The wisdom in the Church's teachings blew me away. Not long thereafter, I began taking my faith more seriously, and for the first time in my life, I started going to confession regularly. I shudder to think at what my life would be like now, had I not come to that turning point.

25. For the past (almost) nine years since graduating from college, I've worked with teenagers -- for four years as a high school teacher, and for the past four+ as the co-director of a pro-life youth outreach. I love working with teenagers, and I hope I can continue doing so for a long time.


The Dutchman said...

Those are secrets? Nothing about your webbed feet, the time you killed someone with a ball-pien hammer, or your gambling addiction?

Okay — I guess liking show tunes is pretty disgraceful ...

sunnyday said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cringe at that Pop-Tart thing!!! But I must admit, I would probably not refuse a Pop-Tart that's been opened a couple of weeks as this is one of my favorite snacks. Too bad it's expensive here. But I had a lot of it as a child 'cause we got to buy them at a slightly lower price in some PX stores.

The last time I got to eat Pop-Tarts was 2 years ago, I believe, when my brother sent some from the States, door to door (I had requested for some, hehe). Of course, there were quite a number of other goodies in that big box but it was the Pop-Tarts that made me squeal with a kind of delight I hadn't felt in years :-)

What is a polka mass?