January 28th, 2009

25 (and then some) Things About Me Meme

I have been tagged in a meme to divulge 25 things about myself. Back in November of 2004, I did a list of 100 things. I've revisited it, and 25 things are no longer the case, so I've removed them. Here are the remaining 75, exactly three times what this meme calls for.

  1. I love to line dance and two-step. In two-stepping, I can dance both the lead and the follow—so double my chances of getting a dance. I prefer to follow if I have the choice.
  2. I have nothing living in my house but me—no animals, no plants.
  3. I love to snow ski, and ski the blue slopes and the non-mogul black slopes—that is to say that I'm fairly decent at it.
  4. I don't have a television, and haven't had one since March 2002.
  5. If I had a television, I would watch Will & Grace, because as soon as Karen says anything, I'm rolling on the floor laughing.
  6. If I had a TV, I'd have on CMT a lot.
  7. I don't use lip balm, and as a result I am not addicted to it.
  8. I don't care about decorating, fashion, or gardening.
  9. I do care about writing.
  10. I sleep with one pillow under my knees, another butted up against the left cheek of my face, and the pillow I have my head on is one you fill with water until it's just the right firmness.
  11. I sometimes, subconsciously, put my fingers somewhere on my face while falling asleep.
  12. I don't use cologne at all.
  13. I prefer boxer shorts, and only wear briefs if there's a chance my boxers will hang out of my shorts, or if I'm going to work out, in which case I wear boxer-briefs.
  14. I was married for 16 years—to a woman, and faithful.
  15. After my marriage, I was in a relationship with a guy for 6.5 years, took a "break" for about a month, and I'm currently in a 7-year (in April '09) relationship with Robert (see item #27).
  16. I am not bisexual.
  17. My ex-wife and I are good friends.
  18. I came out of the closet when I was 37.
  19. I have known I was gay since I was 7.
  20. My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September of 2003.
  21. My sister has an EdD (the equivalent of a PhD) in Education.
  22. My brother provided me with a niece and a nephew.
  23. My dad served in the United States Marines for 30 years, and did three tours (of one year each) in Vietnam. My mom waited for him to return alive.
  24. I went to high school on a military base—Camp Lejeune, NC.
  25. I think Tim McGraw is one of the hottest men on the earth.
  26. I think Dolly Parton is one of the most genuine, lovable people on the earth.
  27. I think Robert Shumaker is one of the kindest, most thoughtful people on the earth.
  28. I have devised and delivered a eulogy.
  29. I drink my coffee black.
  30. I am a committed Camry owner. My last car was a Camry. My current car is a Camry. My next car will be a Camry.
  31. I test drove a Mercedes before buying my current Camry.
  32. My mortgage payment is $379 a month, and it's my only debt.
  33. I have dressed up like a woman once, which was enough.
  34. I wore a size 22 party dress when I did.
  35. The size 12 pumps about killed me before it was all said and done.
  36. I have given a fully-paid-for house to my niece and nephew.
  37. I rode a little less than 350 miles on my bicycle, from Raleigh to DC, over 4 days, raising nearly $3000.
  38. My bicycle is currently sitting in my living room with two flat tires from lack of use.
  39. I have not yet used it for a clothes hanger.
  40. My cremation is fully paid for.
  41. My obituary is written.
  42. I am a Libra, but think horoscopes are hogwash.
  43. If I died eating the barrel of Utz cheese balls from Costco, I'd die with a smile on my face.
  44. I am in a book club that is mostly social. In fact, its name is "The Mostly Social Bookclub."
  45. I made a toast at a Lesbian union in November of 2004. Though there were both straight and Lesbian women there, there were only two men—me and the minister—both gay. I was not attracted to him.
  46. I was in the band in high school. I played the clarinet, and I was First Chair for a period. In my senior year I was the Drum Major.
  47. I like to buy different kinds of stamps—not to collect, though—stamps that work to mail stuff.
  48. American Airlines is my "preferred airline."
  49. I buy everything that I possibly can with my credit card, and pay it off at the end of the month. It earns me frequent flyer points.
  50. I love to send postcards when I travel, and it's not uncommon to send 25-30 each time I travel.
  51. Mykonos, Greece is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.
  52. I send out those four- or five-page holiday letters that you either love or hate.
  53. I have no headboard or footboard on my bed.
  54. I sleep with a sound machine, which makes white noise.
  55. I earned my Master's degree in Technical Communication from NC State in December of 2007.
  56. My undergraduate degree was "Math with a Computer Science Option"—from East Carolina University in 1980.
  57. One of my previous cars was a BMW 325I, which I had a "love/hate" relationship with. Loved driving it. Hated paying the bill after any kind of service.
  58. I have created a Diversity Education poster that has been used by companies around the world, including IBM, the Mayo Clinic, and Johnson & Johnson.
  59. I worked for IBM for 13 years, left, and got rehired after 7. I got my service (and vacation) back, so had 17 years of service, and would have had 24 had I not left. I resigned after 28 years—in September of 2008.
  60. The only illegal drug that I've ever tried is pot, and I did inhale it.
  61. At one time in my life I had two dogs, who I dearly, dearly loved—Misty & Sophie.
  62. I no longer have a safety deposit box.
  63. The only kind of steak I really like is filet mignon.
  64. I would pay up to $5000 to attend a Barbra Streisand concert—no more than that, though.
  65. I can't sing, but I love to, and do it anyway—but not karaoke.
  66. I so hate chit-chatting on the phone. Let's get our business done and hang-up. Let's meet for coffee if you want to chit-chat.
  67. My order of preference is Target, then K-Mart. I do not shop at Walmart at all.
  68. I hate golf—it's too improbable. The balls are too small, and the holes are too far away.
  69. I love bowling. The balls are big, and the pins are 60 feet away. I carry about a 185 average when I'm bowling regularly.
  70. I still have all four of my wisdom teeth, which were taken out at least 20 years ago by my (now ex) father-in-law, who was an oral surgeon at the time. The teeth are in a little packet in a dresser drawer.
  71. I went to Australia for my 50th birthday in October of 2008, and I stayed in three places listed in the book, "1000 Places to See Before You Die." One of the places I stayed at was $1200 a night. The other two were $600 a night.
  72. I get my haircut mostly at CostCutters, but sometimes at Great Clips, when they have their coupon for a $5.95 haircut.
  73. I get my oil changed at Jiffy Lube.
  74. I have an IBM desktop computer and two IBM laptops, though one is very old, so I don't use it. I also have an iPod Touch.
  75. I was on the front page of the "Life" section of the local paper in October of 2004, which cost the paper some subscribers.

A rainy wait, a team meeting, some professional affirmations, poignant radio, pills, and dancing...

Today was one of the very few days since I started riding the bus to work on September 15, 2008, that I had to wait for it in the rain.

I started my work day with a (choose your term) staff | department | team meeting. They tend to be called staff meetings here, though I prefer team meeting myself. We met in one of the new conference rooms in the basement, which was cold as frak.

In the category of professional affirmations, I've been confirmed in presenting in two sessions at the 56th Annual Society for Technical Communication Conference in Atlanta, Georgia from Sunday, May 3, 2009 through Wednesday, May 6, 2009. Here are the descriptions of the two sessions:

During lunch today and on my bus rides, I listened to this poignant episode of The Story: Lessons from a Dropout.

Twenty-year-old Gerrin Hayes just dropped out of high school. He says growing up in a crack house made it impossible to focus on studying. But Gerrin still has hope. He has a mentor, Craig Zeno, who once was a dropout himself, and he makes a strong case for the value of school. Craig is a "Dropout Prevention Specialist," a job he knows he was always meant to have.

Turn off the TV and have a listen to some good radio.

I ran to K-Mart to pick up my (overdue) Nexium prescription. It's been a hassle getting a "pre-authorization" for my prescription, which needed to be done due to my switch in medical coverage due to my job change from IBM to the State of North Carolina.

As the pharmacist took my credit card to charge my co-pay of $150 (for a 102-day supply), she asked me if I was in some Nexium Loyalty Club or other, which I'd never heard of. Evidently, I can save up to $90 of the $150 on my next two orders. Sign me up!

I have mixed emotions, in terms of where we are in regards to healthcare in this country, when there are the equivalents to frequent flyer clubs for drugs. But I digress...

While there at the mart, I picked up:

  1. some generic drain opener gel, instead of the Drano that I usually choose

  2. some toothpaste that Joe is using that is working so well that I asked him if he'd been bleaching his teeth ← That's a lot of thats in that phrase, and this phrase has three more. Oy.

  3. some antiperspirant—but not the kind I usually get, which is Sure—but Suave, which was on sale

  4. 100-count of ibuprofen, but Advil brand this time

  5. one bottle of Suave spray gel hair product, because sometimes it's hard to find, and they had some in stock

  6. three boxes of generic tissues; I need a box for my desk at work

  7. four grease pans for my electric stove burners, one 8-inch and three 6-inch pans

Dancing was good exercise tonight. We had six dancers present, but the bar was pretty dead all night long.