Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Random Things About Mark

From my Facebook. Some of these are repeats, but I haven't done this in a while so here goes:

You know, I actually did this once upon a time on my regular blog, but I think its time to update. Here we go:

1: I have scoliosis. Just a little one, only a few degrees of deviation, but I have bitchy mid-back pain, though, especially if I don't work out for a while. I get adjusted by my buddy Dr. VanWesten and that helps tremendously.

2: I've begun six novels, finished four, published two, and I'm currently in the process of editing my third. Total elapsed writing time since beginning the first one: twelve years. My second novel Red Ivy Afternoon won the bronze medal Independent Publishing Award for science fiction/fantasy in 2007.

3: My least favorite smell on earth is curdled milk. I rode a garbage truck in high school for work and I used to work with a wound care specialist and rotting food and gangrene are less offensive to my sense of smell than rancid milk.

4: My favorite liquor is tequila. Jose Cuervo, generally, but Patron when I can get it.

5: I used to do a bar trick in college where I could lift and carry three people at once. Generally they'd have to be relatively small people, but I'd have one on my back and one in each arm.

6: I have one single line in the center of my palms instead of two diverging lines like most people have. I've only met a handful of other people in my life that have them, and I've never met anyone else that has it on both hands. My son John has it on one hand. It's apprently a Down's Syndrome trait, and I can only imagine how the pediatrician scared the shit out of my parents with that one.

7: Most people that know me know that I have unusually short and stubby thumbs. This is a rare congenital abnormality called raquet thumb, that's approximately the same level of common-ness as the palm line thing. The bones of my thumbs are slightly shorter than average, and thicker and the growth plates of my thumbnails are short and wide rather than almond shaped like a fingernail. It doesn't mean much other than I can hit extra buttons when I play video games, I'm less likely to blow out my thumbs doing trigger point massage because the physics of leverage are on my side, and I'm absolutely killer at thumbwrestling.

8: I was the first person at SLU to ever recieve permission from their academic review board to do online interviewing for qualitative methods of sociology. Not a big deal, really. Oddly, what was sort of a small deal was the fact that the interviews I was doing were for backyard wrestlers, a phenomenon that was just then emerging and no one had studied at all at that point. The research I did has since been republished several times and used in a documentary film. I'm cited in loads of current research about violence, tv, and amateur wrestling. I wish all these people would just read my novels instead of googling videos of teenagers beating the shit out of each other and setting sawhorses on fire with lighter fluid.

9: I have an accreditation in Illinois as a limited Radiographer, which means I can and do take X-rays of people as part of my job. Funniest thing I ever saw on an x-ray that I took: a woman wearing a t-shirt that had the word "BOTOX" in metallic sequins on it.

10: I almost never get a chance to do this since I don't own any, but I'm actually a very good shot with pistols. Favorite pistol: Ruger MK II.

11: I once saw a black bear, in the wild, from less than fifteen feet away.

12: My guilty pleasure is watching awful movies from the 70's and 80's. Sci-fi and campy drama are my favorites.

13: I won a silver medal rowing in the New Hampshire collegiate championships at SLU in the novice class. To this day, rowing is still the only "sport" I have ever been good at.

14: My best friend and I were both born on November 14th, 1978.

15: I was terrified of needles and shots until I was 25, when I started working in a clinic that did pretty much nothing BUT shots in people's spines, knees, hips, etc. I had to load hundreds of shots a week, and I've stabbed myself half a dozen times with pretty much every type of needle doctor's use. When you run a 4 inch spinal needle through your hand first thing on a random monday morning, you pretty much aren't afraid of needles anymore.

16: I've broken both wrists, my right hand, and six of my fingers. I've had second and third degree burns on both hands, accidentally sanded chunks of my skin off while using drum sanders,and sliced myself several times with various sharp things. Most unexpected and painful hand injuries: deep slice on my left ring finger from a steel guitar string that left a prominent scar, new steel spatula blade directly in the palm of my left hand. My profession: massage therapist.

17: I started playing the guitar at age 15 when I discovered that my mother had, boxed in our basement, an old classical nylon-stringed guitar. She also had a book full of basic chords and instructions on how to tune it and from there I've played guitar for 15+ years.

18: I was once in a gigantic snowball fight in college that involved over 400 people.

19: I have a strange eidetic memory for people's voices. Even if I haven't heard your voice in years, I could easily pick it out of a random sampling of people, especially if I've ever heard you sing. I can identify background singers in songs on the radio and voice talent for cartoons without ever knowing who they are ahead of time.

20: I love all food. Really. I even love weird stuff like Sushi and massively spicy ethnic foods. Lebanese is some of my favorite. There are two foods, however, that I love in an unholy way that I find difficult to control myself about. These foods: Bacon, and candy canes.

21: I love medicine but I think I would hate being a doctor. Except maybe a chiropractor. I maybe could do that. They're the only well-adjusted ones, really. I've met many, many physicians who grudgingly hate their jobs.

22: I've dealt with and treated a number of politicians and celebrities as patients since I've begun my career. With only a few exceptions they are polite, friendly, intelligent people that would fit in unobtrusively in any group or crowd. Some of them are even more polite than the average patient, which I didn't expect. The average patient will get a cell phone call and have an awkward moment of like 50/50% making a decision as to whether or not to answer it. I had a major celebrity once that I was treating just reach into his pocket without even looking at his cell and silence it. I was impressed. Tabloids love to tear celebrities a new one, but I think most of them are worthy of respect in real life.

23: I got a little teary-eyed when I listened to Barack's inaugural speech. I'm not too proud to admit it. He's going to do great things for our country, and he's the first politician in living memory that I could say I genuinely trust.

24: I tend to try and help people who are socially awkward, and do my best to make them feel welcome and included. I don't beat a dead horse, though. If someone doesn't WANT to be helped, that's another thing entirely. I feel like one of the best things you can do for people is to make them feel included and welcome. You never know who might be keeping their interesting personality to themselves just because they're intimidated or afraid to jump into a social situation. Concurrently, some of my favorite people on earth are the ones who do this to others (and occasionally to me).

25: Favorite video game of all time: World of Warcraft. You sneer, but think of it as Facebook with dragons and cartoon knights. The social aspect of the game, the economy, the trading, the cooperation, the comeraderie. The first thing I thought of when I started on Facebook was that it reminded me of Warcraft. It's addictive for a reason. People are addictive.

No comments: