50 Random Things About Me

Thanks to John via Chris for this one.

Here’s a meme with 50 seemingly random questions that I will answer with my expert writing abilities.

  1. What do you add to your coffee? I love the smell of coffee but generally need creamer to withstand the taste. Actually as I age and my taste buds die off, black coffee is starting to work for me.
  2. What are you reading now? I have kids. When do I have time to read? During vacation next week, I plan on reading Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca? by G.M. Ford.
  3. Do you own a gun?  No, two (evil laughter).
  4. Are you registered to vote? Absolutely. If you don’t want to participate in our democracy, shut up if you don’t like what’s going on.
  5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Doctors freak me out. I have to lay down when they draw blood out of fear of passing out.
  6. What do you think of hot dogs? I love them, but don’t ever tell me what’s in them or how they are made. 
  7. Favorite Christmas Song? No contest. Bing Crosby’s White Christmas
  8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Diet Mountain Dew
  9. Can you do push ups? I don’t know. It’s better that I not try…I might be embarrased.
  10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend? I’m such a freak. My first girlfriend’s name was Lee. And this was in college (laugh amongst yourselves). The kicker is that I turned her into a lesbian. Yes, I was the last guy she dated before switching teams.
  11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring is my favorite (and only) jewelry I wear.
  12. Favorite hobby? I have kids. When do I have time for hobbies? I guess the closest thing I have to a hobby is blogging.
  13. Do you work with people who idolize you? (Dies laughing and is unable to answer)
  14. Do you have ADD? I do not believe so.
  15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? I’ll answer tomorrow.
  16. What’s your Middle name? Too paranoid to answer. You might track me down.
  17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. How can I find a way to be on vacation permanently? Pizza rules. Beer rules.
  18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday. Gas, t-shirt, dinner at Subway.
  19. Name 3 beverages you regularly drink. Diet Mountain Dew, water, beer.
  20. Current worry right now?  Being successful in my new job.
  21. What side do you dress to? I’m not really sure what this means. Left-right? Gay-straight? I don’t know how to answer.
  22. Favorite place to be? The Oregon Coast
  23. How did you bring in the New Year? I watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with the Younger Daughter.
  24. Where would you like to go? Hawaii
  25. Name three people who will complete this. No
  26. Whose answers do you want to read the most? I want everyone to play along. Do it.
  27. What color shirt are you wearing? Dark blue
  28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?.  No, I’m not a chick.
  29. Can you whistle?  Yes
  30. Favorite color? Red
  31. Could you be a pirate? Unlikely
  32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Our of respect for my family members, I do not sing in the shower.
  33. Favorite girls name?  Heather
  34. Favorite boy’s name? Jeff
  35. What’s in your pocket right now?  Cell phone, keys, and $0.50
  36. Last thing that made you laugh? I looked in the mirror.
  37. Best bed sheets as a child? Star Wars
  38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? I sprained my ankle so badly when I was a junior in high school that I was on crutches for several day.
  39. Do you love where you live? I like it, but don’t love it.
  40. How many TVs do you have in your house?  5, but only 2 are used regularly.
  41. Who is your loudest friend?  Probably John (sorry John)
  42. How many dogs do you have? Two
  43. Does anyone have a crush on you? Not that I’m aware of.
  44. What are the most fun things you ever did? I don’t know.
  45. What are your favorite books? Refer back to #2.
  46. What is your favorite candy? M&Ms
  47. Favorite Team? Portland Trailblazers
  48. What songs do you want played at your funeral? I don’t want a funeral. Please have a party and laugh about the good times we had.
  49. What were you doing at 12 AM? On the computer when I should have been sleeping.
  50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Morning comes much to early in the day. Can we start it at about noon?

Now THAT Was Awkward

CNN has a story on “Easy ways to exit awkward situations”. As usual, they have missed the mark. Thanks to the Dad In The Headlights Manners Department, we have some additional hints for you.

Here are some tips on how to gracefully and painlessly remove yourself from sticky social situations.

Escape a dull conversation at a party

“Politeness requires seven or eight minutes” of conversation, says Letitia Baldrige, a former social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy and the author of “Taste: Acquiring What Money Can’t Buy.” After that, you can say good-bye to the bore.

You’ve got to be kidding me. 7 or 8 minutes? I’d be ready to commit murder or suicide by then. How about I give you 10 seconds to be interesting before I bolt?

At a cocktail party, it’s fine to excuse yourself to get a drink or food, help the hostess, or make a phone call.

Or my personal favorite: “Oh geez, I need to run and change my Depends.”

Another tried-and-true tactic? Introduce the bore to someone else, excuse yourself, and scram. This way, you avoid leaving the bore stranded, and he becomes someone else’s problem.

Well isn’t that sweet.

Escape a telemarketer

A polite “Thanks, I’m not interested” is your best response to unwanted calls.

This jerk interrupted my dinner and I’m supposed to be polite? I don’t think so. Below are some better ideas. Have some fun with it!

  • Ask them, “Why don’t you get a real job and stop annoying people?”
  • Put the phone on the table and walk away
  • Blow an air horn into the receiver
  • Talk with a think accent and pretend to have difficulty understanding

“The caller will probably come back with a benefit statement or a probing question” — such as Are you aware this will cut your insurance bill in half?

I like to respond to this with: “I have more money than I can ever hope to spend, so this would actually be harmful to me. I actually burn $100 bills in my fireplace.”

Escape a stumper

How do you say “I don’t know” without sounding, well, dumb? Especially in a nerve-racking setting, like a job interview? Be direct, says Sue Shellenbarger, a career-advice columnist at the Wall Street Journal: Just say, “That’s a great question. I’d like to think about it and get back to you.

“If putting off the question isn’t an option (you’re a keynote speaker at an event; you’re being interviewed on TV), employ the Ted Kennedy strategy, says Anne Fisher, who writes Ask Annie, a career-advice column for CNNMoney.com: “Say, ‘That’s a good question, but an even more interesting question is….'” Then talk about what you do know. “It’s worked for Kennedy,” says Fisher. “He’s been elected eight times.”

So now I’m supposed to take my cue on manners from a drunken, lifetime politician that was involved in the questionable death of a passenger in a car he was driving? I don’t think that’s very good advice.

How to escape a spat with your significant other

So now you’re advocating avoiding problems rather than working through them? I’m not so sure that’s good advice.

He started it. Well, maybe you did. Either way, you don’t want to talk about it anymore.

That’s correct. Pipe down, because I don’t want to talk about it.

“When we’re in a ‘flooded’ emotional state, access to the part of the brain where logical thinking resides is inhibited, and IQ drops noticeably — perhaps by as much as 15 points,” says Ransburg. “This is when we say things we wish we could take back.” So call a time-out. Typically, your logic will return in about 20 minutes, at which point you can resume the discussion in a productive way.

What kind of twisted mess is this? So I’m as dumb as a box of rocks when I argue, therefore I need to push the pause button on my argument and I will be smarter in 20 minutes? I think this writer is the one with IQ problems.

If you can’t call a time-out mid-spat, practice with tiny disagreements, suggests Ransburg, when you’re both less likely to take things personally.

So they want me to get in “tiny” disagreements with my wife so I can practice how to pause an argument? What variety of meth are you on?

How to escape a story repeater

Your father-in-law is telling you that story about foiling the pickpocket in Moscow — for the fifth time. Do you let him know you’ve heard it before and can tell it better than he does?

Absolutely not. I just let him rattle on. I nod and say “mmm–hhhhh” when appropriate and think about something else. And hope that he doesn’t ask a question.

“If the story is longer than a minute and the two of you are alone, do interrupt to tell him that you’ve heard — and enjoyed — that story once before,” says Margaret Shepherd, a coauthor of “The Art of Civilized Conversation.”

I really don’t think this is a good idea. It will only hurt his feelings.

Try: “You had everyone in stitches when you told that story last Christmas.” No need to add that you’ve heard the story for the last four Christmases. “Segue to a related topic,” suggests Shepherd, and if possible, draw in another person to freshen up the conversation.

So I can’t say what’s really on my mind? “Shut the pie-hole you senile freak!” Oh yeah, that would contradict my goal of not hurting feelings.

With older people whose memory may be slipping or when you’re in a group, though, it can be cruel to interrupt, says author Letitia Baldrige: “Patiently listen and wait for a chance to change the subject. If they’re thrilled to be telling the story, dismissing them too suddenly is like smooshing an ant.

“Like smooshing an ant? Ummm, that would kill the ant. I don’t think dismissing them will actually kill them.