Sunday, February 01, 2009

25 Fun Facts About Me

I wrote one of these up for my Facebook account, might as well reprint it here.

1. I share a birthday with, among others, Kevin Kline (Oscar winner for my favourite movie ever, A Fish Called Wanda), Bob Kane (creator of Batman), Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, Zac Posen (some guy who I understand is a big deal in the fashion world), footballers Wayne Rooney and Juan Pablo Angel, and, born on my exact year and day, Tila Tequila. Frankly, I think the list of famous people who have died on my birthday is more impressive --- Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Gene Roddenberry, George Cadbury (the chocolate guy), Louis Renault (the car guy) and Daniel Webster (the law-talkin' guy).

2. On any given day, I will use at least twenty Simpsons and/or Seinfeld references in conversation.

3. I wouldn't consider myself well-traveled, as I've only been outside of North America once in my life (two weeks in England in 2004). I have, however, been to Bermuda, Jamaica, Mexico three times, and (mostly thanks to three London-to-Florida drives in my life) all over the United States. In my own country, I've been all over Ontario south of Ottawa and made two trips to Montreal, but nowhere else.

4. I've written two essays on Fellini's 8 1/2 in my life, and yet have never seen the entire movie. The first time I slept through the second half, and the second time I slept through what I think was the middle third.

5. I don't know how to ride a bike. Yep.

6. I'm not positive about this, but I think the last movie that made me cry was Rudy. Say what you will about that film, but my god, that final sequence when he runs onto the field and then finally gets into the game...I remember watching it with my parents and brother about 10 years ago, and we were all just bawling and passing around a Kleenex box.

7. I started losing my hair when I was 16, but didn't start shaving it until I was 21. On a totally unrelated note, I didn't date much during those years. Women aren't particularly into guys who are working the old man cul-de-sac of hair 'do.

8. In third year, I took an extra day to finish an essay for Canadian film class that, frankly, I didn't think was one of my stronger works, even despite the extra time I needed to finish it. Whatever, it was one of about five essays I had due over the span of a week, I was just happy to be finished. A week later, I was headed into another class when my Canadian film prof stopped me at the door. She said she personally wanted to hand back "a paper that was such a pleasure to read." Her actual words. I was floored. My grade was 92%, so actually a 94% counting the marks deducted for being a day late. It was the second-highest mark I ever got for any essay in university. (My highest mark is a much less interesting story. It was an essay about Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" for a detective fiction class, and frankly, that's like asking a cat to write an essay about licking itself. I racked up a cool 97% on that bad boy.)

9. Thanks to my absolute satisfaction with my beloved Toyota Echo (a.k.a. Mr. Eko), I will drive nothing but compact cars for the rest of my life.

10. I was a member of a city championship Reach For The Top team in high school. I guess technically I was team captain, but since this title carried no actual responsibilities or duties and nobody on the team actually deferred to me in any way, it was sort of a hollow designation. We went on to finish ninth out of thirty-odd teams at the provincial meet after posting a 7-2 record in the preliminary round. Sadly, only the top eight went on to the next round of the competition. Quel dommage.

11. For a guy that doesn't put a lot of thought into fashion, I have way too many clothes. The trouble is that, if something still fits, I'll keep it around just as something to wear if I'm doing yard work or something. Ergo, I have maybe 10-15 pieces of clothes in my usual rotation and about twice as many 'yard work' clothes just taking up space.

12. My dream job would be to write for Saturday Night Live. Well, I guess my ultimate dream job would be Lorne Michaels' job, but beggars can't be choosers.

13. I have no self-awareness when it comes to my acting ability. I played a role in a play I was directing back in school, I asked my friend Amy (who was acting in sort of a casting director/consigliere kind of role) to basically direct me since I had no idea if I was doing a good job or not. I've been told I've done a good job in school plays and small theatre stuff, but I wasn't cast in the two times I actually auditioned for shows in high school and university. Then again, in my high school audition, my monologue was Dave Foley's "I'm a man with a positive attitude towards menstruation" bit from Kids In The Hall. It's possible the middle-aged church-going music teacher running the audition didn't quite appreciate my selection.

14. If I had been born a girl, my name would've been Amy.

15. The clarinet was my instrument of choice through high school, and I regret having not played the thing since my last music class. I've kept up a bit more with the piano since I stopped taking lessons 10 years ago after passing my grade eight playing/level two theory stage.

16. I've only seen five movies more than once at a theatre: Spider-Man II, Superman Returns, Step Brothers, Star Wars: Phantom Menace and the South Park movie. The last two were part of a four-plex at a drive-in, but I guess that still counts.

17. My brother and I once spent about $10 in quarters in order to beat the Simpsons arcade game on a New Jersey boardwalk. It was totally worth it.

18. The proudest baseball moment of my life was my unassisted triple play while playing second base. Caveat #1: it was actually softball. Caveat #2: it was during eighth grade gym class. Caveat #3: At least one of the baserunners wasn't totally aware of the rules of the game. Even still, unassisted!

19. Past jobs: pizza delivery guy, bouncer/doorman at my school bar, and ride operator at Storybook Gardens, London's kids' amusement park. I alternated between running the merry-go-round and being the engineer of the 'Storybook Express,' the glorified riding mower of a train that does a circuit around a big field in the park. I wore an engineer's hat, suspenders, and started each ride with a big Bubb Rubb-esque 'WOO WOO!' Aside from having to stop to shoo geese off of the tracks, that job was hella-fun.

20. I don't have a favourite basketball team, since I used to just support NBA teams if my favourite player (Dale Ellis) played for them. Ellis was my favourite based on his incredible three-point shooting ability in Tecmo NBA Basketball for the original NES. It was an Ellis three-point buzzer-beater that clinched my first-ever win over my little brother at that goddamn game.

21. Never voted Conservative in any election. Highly doubt I ever will.

22. For about a year straight, a grouse attacked me whenever I walked down the hill behind my house to get to school. No matter what path I took down the hill, that damn bird would always fly up from the ground and startle the hell out of me.

23. Since about fourth grade, I've been trying to get 'Shark' to stick as a nickname for myself. Hasn't taken yet.

24. I'm quite a loud snorer.

25. You may be wondering why so few of these are about my love life. That's because I'm pretty sure my love life is being secretly written by Larry David. For example, I was once out for lunch with a woman, ostensibly for work, but I had an eye on dating her so I was using the lunch as sort of a groundwork-laying operation or to see if I could pick up on any vibe that she was interested in me as well. As fate would have it, we ran into her ex-boyfriend (they had split up, like, a month prior) and his parents. Five minutes of awkward conversation passed, enough time to tell that there was still some unsettled issues between the two of them and, to boot, his parents absolutely adored her. After they left, she said, "Boy, that was a bit awkward." I responded with, and to this day I'm not sure why, "Don't worry, if you get any fallout from being out at lunch with a guy, just tell them I'm gay," which I then punctuated with a little fey wrist movement. She laughed and we carried on with our chat....except I'm pretty sure that after that, she actually thought I was gay. Needless to say, I didn't pick up on any dating vibes for the rest of the lunch. Though, who knows, I might have ended up with an invitation to go shoe-shopping or something. In hindsight, I really should've tried to drop some kind of "I'm straight" hint into our conversation, like bringing up some pretense to talk about a past girlfriend or ogling the waitress's know, something subtle like that.

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