Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pre-Requiem for a Blogger: 100 Things About Me

1. I was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
2. I lived in the same house from the time I was 11 months old until … well, my brother still lives there.
3. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
4. I taught myself to cook. And I'm damn good at it.
5. I have a Bachelor's and Master's degree (and 1 1/2 years toward my doctorate) in classical clarinet performance.
6. I started my music career with piano lessons in 4th grade. I never practiced any of my instruments much but was naturally inclined toward playing.
7. I never made much of a living as a musician but learned accounting without any education and supported myself pretty well with that.
8. My mom died just after I turned 15. I still talk to her.
9. My dad didn't want any of his sons named after him, but his first name is my middle name (James).
10. I hate movies with gore in them, even if they're critically acclaimed movies. I leave the room in disgust.
11. I love having "Matt Time" - time by myself to do whatever I want. I want to build a "Matt Room" for this.
12. I love libraries. My first job was in one, and I could spend hours looking through all the books.
13. I've always thought of myself as a skinny, ugly geek, even though once I grew up people have told me I'm quite handsome.
14. I could never ever get enough of eating bacon. There's nothing like the smell of bacon cooking.
15. If there's roasted garlic in it, I'm there.
16. I have a HUGE weakness for cheeseburgers.
17. Even just a quick hug and an "everything will be okay" gives me huge amounts of strength.
18. I love the desert. I went to Saguaro National Park near Tucson when I was 29 and was hooked.
19. I really miss thunderstorms. I can't remember the last time I heard a tornado siren, and oddly I miss that too.
20. I was in an earthquake in Seattle in 2001, and I NEVER EVER EVER want to go through that again.
21. I suck at sports. All of them. (Well, I was okay at racquetball … )
22. I love marching bands and drum and bugles corps.
23. I don't really like candy or desserts. Too sweet.
24. I would love to have Martha Stewart's life. Without the jail time.
25. My favorite season growing up was fall, in the Midwest. In the Pacific Northwest, it's spring … and summer.
26. I hate rain. Walking around getting wet makes me cranky. It's okay if I have the day off at home, though.
27. I miss being able to go sledding.
28. One of my favorite smells is lilacs.
29. I'm afraid that both of my parents died without knowing what they meant to me.
30. I wish I could tell my brothers, without fear, that I am gay (although I'm sure they have a good idea).
31. I'm always afraid that I don't have anything intelligent to say in meetings, so I don't talk.
32. I love getting dressed up to go somewhere nice (and look pretty darn good in a suit) but people just don't do that in Seattle.
33. The best vacations I have ever been on were renting a beach house in Long Beach, NC. There was nothing to do but relax.
34. I love to clean the house but hate it when I have to do it.
35. I am an NPR fanatic.
36. I think Garrison Keillor's voice is one of the most wonderful and soothing sounds I've ever heard.
37. Cars I've owned: 1977 Buick Century (gold), 1985 Buick Skyhawk (gold), 1977 Dodge Aspen (dark green), 1983 Chrysler New Yorker (dark red), 2006 VW Jetta (dark blue). FINALLY a new car.
38. I wish I had a king sized bed so my partner and I could have all three dogs on the bed and not have to hold on to the nightstands for balance.
39. I believe in some kind of god, but not what religions tell you to believe in.
40. I love poetry. e.e. cummings is my favorite.
41. My favorite movie is Cinema Paradiso.
42. I love to have people over for dinner, but it rarely happens.
43. I'm horrible at making friends. I really don't have any that I can just hang out with.
44. I think dogs are incredible.
45. I love to cook, but I hate baking. Too exact - and messy. I cook by the seat of my pants.
46. Vomiting, while a necessary function sometimes, is the most horrible thing in the world. (Well, at the time).
47. I hate having anyone touch my navel.
48. My favorite Christmas movie is "A Christmas Story". I love anything to do with the 1940's, probably because my parents were growing up then.
49. My favorite color is cobalt blue.
50. My favorite place anywhere in the world is my home.
51. My favorite alcoholic drinks are Tanqueray martinis (up, two olives), screwdrivers (or anything with vodka), and wine. Good wine.
52. I love going out to brunch on the weekends.
53. Favorite cities: Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Paris, Seattle.
54. I love to read when I get into bed before going to sleep.
55. I have lots of old family photos around the house. They remind me of where I came from and help me feel grounded.
56. I would love to have a bigger front porch so people can stop by for a drink as they walk by, even if it's cold or raining.
57. I miss having a job where I work with a lot of people and take care of people. I actually miss waiting tables for this reason. I've actually thought about becoming a flight attendant (even though I'm not big on flying).
58. I used to love flying, until my dad got sick and I flew alone to Chicago a bit. Then I was overwhelmed at the loss of control and had panic attacks. I'm fine if I'm flying with someone else, though.
59. I feel invisible most of the time.
60. I'm a liberal Democrat. I don't understand people who hate us.
61. I've always wanted to own an old Mustang or Thunderbird. Either sky blue or turquoise.
62. I would love to be a writer. I'm not sure what kind of writing I would do, though.
63. I'd love to be a kid again and jump into piles of dry, colorful leaves in the fall.
64. I really loved my Aunt Edith, my dad's sister. She and I used to go for walks together and she always had a pleasant smile on her face. When she died, my dad told me on the phone kinda matter-of-factly. "Oh, your Aunt Edith died yesterday".
65. I used to be able to speak Spanish, at least enough to get by. I think it's arrogant that American schoolchildren aren't required to learn a second language. I did learn enough German in college to be able to say "Oh yes, we know your ball-bearings".
66. My family had a yellow Labrador Retriever named Max when I was born. When I learned to stand up in my crib, I would sometimes drop my pacifier (binky) out onto the floor. Max would hear me crying, come into my room, pick up the pacifier and pop it back into my mouth. My mom said she cried for hours the day we gave him away (my oldest brother wasn't being responsible and taking care of Max like he had said he would).
67. We had a black and white cat named Felix when I was a couple years older. My middle brother always chased him under the couch in the family room. He went away too. (The cat. My brother is still there.)
68. I had braces on my teeth twice. Geek.
69. I cannot sleep on my stomach.
70. I have no piercings, and never will.
71. I have never broken a bone (frantically looking for wood to knock on).
72. I think "bling" is stupid.
73. I love Oprah Winfrey.
74. Out of vanity (although I rationalized it as due to the Midwest weather) I started wearing contact lenses when I went to college. Now I wear my spiffy glasses most days.
75. I look almost exactly like my father did at my age. Always have.
76. I will never move to another house that does not have a fireplace. Until we put one in our current house, I make do with lighting candles in every room.
77. I would love to visit Japan.
78. I've smoked marijuana four times, and it never affected me at all. Which is good, since I've never had any interest in trying anything else. Of course, this makes me REALLY laugh at Seattle's annual "HempFest".
79. I frequently have dreams involving plane crashes. I'm not on the plane, but I'm watching it go down.
80. I wear silver jewelry, not gold.
81. I have a birthmark on the back of my neck that looks like a scar from having stitches. I did not know this until I was in seventh grade, and have always been self-conscious since then. But I still keep my hair very short.
82. I know from personal experience that cuts to the back of the head bleed. A LOT. So no, I'll never shave my head.
83. My hair is starting to turn grey and I like it.
84. I would love to visit the countries my family comes from - Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
85. I love Paris and can seriously picture living on Ile St. Louis.
86. I love love love art museums. I used to go to the Art Institue in Chicago and sit and stare at paintings for hours. I was very dissappointed when I moved to Seattle and saw the Seattle Art Museum.
87. I hate to see anyone cry. Even if it's someone I don't like.
88. The few times I heard my parents swear I was horrified. I can swear like a sailor, though.
89. I've always been told I'd be a good dad, and a big sadness in my life is that I'm not one, but I don't think I'd have the right amount of patience - and that wouldn't be fair. And I have NO respect for people having children who shouldn't.
90. I worked as a daycamp couselor one summer in college for mentally, physically and emotionally handicapped youth. I have never forgotten a single moment of it.
91. I was once licensed in the state of Illinois as a pesticide and herbicide applicator.
92. I have never shoplifted. Ever.
93. I cannot grow sideburns. I've tried … there's a patch between my beard and my hairline that's bald. I guess I'll never be a hipster.
94. I'd love to live in a nicer neighborhood, but my neighbors are all incredible and that's infinitely more important to me.
95. I think having a nice bathroom with great towels is one of the best things you can do to start your days right. And a good toaster.
96. I can't drink coffee without getting violently ill. Even half a cup. Kind of ironic, living in Seattle.
97. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
98. I don't believe the "don't eat spaghetti on your first date" way of thinking. My partner Scott looks damn cute with tomato sauce on his chin (and shirt, and hands …). Perfection is for magazine covers.
99. I sleep better if I'm touching Scott. Even if it's just my hand against his arm. My sure cure for insomnia (I don't even think he knows that).
100. No matter how old I get or where I live, I'll always think of Chicago as home. I'm always comfortable when I go back there.


Dawn said...

Yay, yay, yay!!! I'm so glad you started a blog, and I promise that you will always have atleast one faithful reader. Doesn't it feel good to be self-expressed? Even better, self-expressed AND interesting? I'm looking forward to more.

Kelly said...

Sweet that you have started a blog... thanks for reading mine and I will now blog roll thee...heheheh

Kevin said...

I'm totally with you on #47.

And #97 too.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I found this, but welcome to the blog world. The best ones are the most honest ones, even if they don't reflect you in the most stellar light.

scottk said...

OK so the things we have in common: 11,12 but more in bookstores I totally loose track of time,14,15,16,17,19,21,22,25 Mostly Fall,34,39,44,46,54 and last but not least 80. Glad I found your blog ! Keep it up .

Matt said...

Thanks scottk ... I was just in Hawaii for the first time this summer (not Maui though - Oahu and the Big Island). Yeah, I'm jealous ... you'd hate the 50 degree sunny crisp colorful Halloween we're going to have (I MUST post pics on the blog, Scott and I are going hog wild).

Nice to have the kudos and common likes!

Anonymous said...

I take issue with #43. I remember your 21st birthday, sitting on a sad brown couch in a room otherwise devoid of furniture (but a rug full of debris), a single dim lightbulb hanging from a wire in the ceiling, the voices of drunk kids outside the window as they wandered from party to party. We both commented on how the moment could not be any more pathetic. How depressing is this? Could we be more lame? Doing THAT and still enjoying yourself is proof that you have the ability to make friends and hang out with them.

Love, J-M

Matt said...

J-M, I'm so glad you posted that ... I hadn't thought of that night for a long time! You forgot to mention that the house looked a little like the Amityville Horror house (especially the attic windows). And that squirrels ran around between the walls and between floors. I think Mundo and I had a similar night in that same house, eating peanuts and American cheese slices because that's all that was in the house and we were broke. Good times, good times ...

Love, Me

Doug said...

Nice blog. Not sure how I got here at the moment, but it's good stuff. I'm from your old stomping grounds, and drive through Arlington Heights every day on the way to work. I'm curious about #91 in your 100 things list- the pesticide license. Did you get it because you did prairie restoration work while you were in Illinois. That's why I have mine.


Anonymous said...

I also have to comment on were the hub for friends from very different backgrounds and that keeps people in touch with each other almost 16 years later. You might not have people in your life that you 'can just hang out with' but you will always have people who want to hang out with you.

Matt said...

I have to admit, I'm quite curious as to who "anonymous" is ... I have no clue whatsoever. Strange.

jo said...

Didn't realize I never read this. I learned a little bit more of you. You like my favorite ice cream, for one. You do look like your dad. At his funeral, I was the only one who seemed to think so. I don't know why the rest of my family can't see it. And you are quite handsome! I don't know why you don't make friends easily. At the funeral, when I "met" you, you seemed so easy to talk to. I'm sorry that you feel invisible. You're not, honest! I love porches, too! I would love to have a porch that wraps all the way around the house! Hmm...I think I need a house fist, but it definitely needs a front porch! I wish you could tell your brothers, too. Hmm..I know we didn't visit very often, but I don't ever remember a dog. But were you born yet when the family used to go to the forest preserves to cook breakfasts? I'm not sure if your mom & dad were there, but for some reason I think so. I don't remember how often we did it, but it is etched in my mind being out in the woods with the cast iron skillets, cooking up some bacon and eggs! Totally strange! I'll have to ask mom and dad about that! I love you Matt, even if we do only communicate through our blogs. You're a great guy!

TankMontreal said...

I don't know you, you don't know me, I've only rarely commented on your blog. But dang, your list moves me like you can't even imagine. It's like, I want to say, "I know you, or at least some parts of you". I'm so glad you've shared yourself like this. Really. You've inspired me to do likewise.

Anonymous said...

I loved this... I read it a couple of times now. Dork that I am, I will say this:

You haven't smoked BC bud then.

OK I just smacked myself in the head cause it's a really stupid comment. My partner is a pot head, fully encouraged by his docs as a matter of fact!(helps with his degenerative disc disease and sciatica and pre arthritic back-the guy has a very bad back)

It's a drug, and although it may be "nothing" according to some who say other drugs are way worse, it is a drug. I got incredibly paranoid the few times I have smoked it-BEFORE I HAD THE KIDS!

Plus here in BC the pot is grown by gangs (Hells Angels etc.) and we know how bad that all is.

So why did I want to jokingly say "you've never smoked BC bud"? I dunno. It was kinda cheeky at the time, hah!

Ok done rambling.

Matt said...

I read your blog, and I had to leave a comment. We seem to be a lot alike (in addition to our first name). I have a Masters in saxophone performance (minored in clarinet). You should give a recital and play Stravinsky's 3 Pieces (love it). My first boyfriend moved to Seattle after college (oboeist).

I now work in IT for a bank. I live in Columbus & have friends that work for NBBJ. My partner of 10 years is an architect. We're about the same age (I'm a year older).

Re: you 100 facts, we're the same for most #s especially 4-7,10,13,14-16,19,31,39,43,60,69,70,88,92.

I just thought it was great there's someone in blog-land I have so much in common with...

Matt said...

Matt, thanks for your comment. We do have a lot in common! You'll have to let me know if you start a blog - or send me an e-mail sometime (my e-mail link is on my profile page now).

Anonymous said...

Hi, found you via your 12 of 12, and your 100 Things really resonated with me. As someone else said, I feel like I know you on a very deep level.

I imagine you're better at having friends than you realize. If you can write like this & have feelings like those, it's there.

Coaster Punchman said...

Hi Matt, it's your new Facebook pal TRH and this is my blog. (Do me a favor though and don't expose me as CP to the Facebook world - I want the ability to b*tch about Palatine people without hurting TOO many a few work people found their want into my Facebook (biggest mistake of my life) and I'll be fired if they ever see my blog! Ok, maybe not fired, but publicly humiliated? Oh well, what's new. Ok, I'll stop stalking you for a little bit but it's been good to learn a few things about a guy I wish I could have been friends with in high school!

Sorata said...

I can't believe this is the first time I read your 100 things... How did I miss that!!!

Absolutely love your list. So personal and so in touch of who you are.