1. I can sing in four ranges, all of which are missing notes. I'm probably best at minor-key songs (bluegrass, gospel, etc.). As an instrumentalist, I'm the worst musician in my immediate family.
2. I've been paid for haiku by a magazine, or at least its editor/publisher. Albeit only once.
3. I was one of the infants given tetracycline in its early formula, in the mid-1960s, which has permanently (at least, so far) stained my adult teeth beige. They don't look rotten (nor are they), but I really should consider caps.
4. My brother, who couldn't convince his girlfriend to accompany him, once treated me to a Laurie Anderson concert in her stead. She was performing with the same patter as she did on Letterman's show the night or so before, and it wasn't that inspired the first time. My brother and I were sitting in the front row, and we might well've been the only people in the audience not to have stood to give her an ovation. She stared at us.
5. Because some college classmates of mine couldn't convince their girlfriends to come along, I was able to attend not only the first Thelonious Monk Memorial Concert, but also the reception afterward. Thus I met David Amram, Urszula Dudziak, Wynton Marsalis, and T.S. Monk III. And Gerry Mulligan; we literarlly bumped into each other, both turned around to apologize, and I then burbled, which famously was not the thing to do with Mulligan.
6. I took the Metro train into that concert in DC, but couldn't get my Plymouth Sport Suburban to work properly (as soon as I hit the highway, it would only go in reverse) after making my way back to the Vienna station, thus missing what amounted to a late third date with one woman...my eventual ex, another woman, accelerated her epxressions of interest very soon after, and that seems like a pretty damned pivotal night in my life as a result.
7. As far as I know, this was the only period in my life when more than one woman was interested in me at the same time. (There was even another.) (Remarkable.)
8. I sparked a very informal anti-Vietnam War demonstration among fellow neighborhood kids at age six. We were riding around our Boston suburb in the back of an old firetruck (rather like a giant pickup truck), and I started everyone flashing peace signs and shouting for an end to the war. Seemed like a good idea.
9. My earliest memories of friends are of a girl, like myself aged 4, and her slightly younger brother, probably of Tlingit or Athabascan ancestry, who lived around the corner in Fairbanks, AK. I thought their mother remarkably beautiful. She was certainly very nice to me. Also of a boy of about 12, who was developmentally diabled and lived down the street...he had an enormous collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. He later was imprisoned for murder, a decade or so later, my parents heard from friends who still lived there.
10. While attending the University of Hawaii, I was elected to the lowest possible elected office in the state, the Student Senate. I was 19th for 19 positions for the College of Arts and Sciences, out of a field of 24 candidates...three of my friends and I ran, in 1983, as the Green Slate.
11. At 18, I believe I was the youngest editor so far of HAWAII REVIEW. I held that position for one month.
12. I was a National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist, who might well've achieved highest "selection index" (score) for the year in Hawaii, in 1981. At the assembly where the students were recognmized for such things, my name wasn't called, to the bemusement of the other folks I'd done slightly better than; this was not the first nor last time that I'd been shown such a petty slight by that school or other assemblies of pompous folk.
13. I've always been good at such tests, and as a partial consequence have never put much faith in IQ tests as measures of intelligence, as oppose to of IQ test-taking ability. A similar test taken at about the same time could be broken down as Things You Can Do In Your Head, at which I went off the top of the reults scale, and Things Requiring You Deal With the Outside World, in which I fell into the Bright Average classification. Mildly telling, I thought.
14. I tend to work too much, in low-reward, high-responsiblity positions.
15. As a Type 2 diabetic (both sides of the family, though happily not my parents nor brother so far), I shouldn't drink. Not too tough, but I have a vicious sweet tooth. Alzheimer's on both sides, too, which terrifies me, if less so than it did in my 20s.
16. My ex, mentioned above, noted that I seemed to be able to talk to anyone, though I tend to interview people w/o realizing it, and that I was the only person she knew who actually didn't seem to care what clothes he wore. I think she was ambivalent about the latter...as, I suppose, am I.