My Inglorious Life

I’ve jumped from a moving car. I’ve rock climbed. I’ve rappelled. I’ve jumped into (and out of) the Montreal metro tracks. I’ve walked from metro car to metro car while it was moving. I’ve stuck my head out of a moving metro car (and seen an oncoming metro not too far off).

I failed both written and practical driving tests once each. I once picked up two stranded members of a band whose car broke down on the side of the highway, and drove them an hour out of town to get them to their show. I’ve driven at 160KPH (100MPH). I’ve had a plane full of passengers wait for me, twice. I’ve been in a highway patrol car (in the passenger seat) while it pulled a car over, the name on driver’s license was Phil Collins. I once drove 100KPH on the service road at night because the highway was closed off. I was pulled over by what seemed like 5 cop cars (some unmarked) when I blew a red light. I was let off with a minor speeding ticket. I can drive stick. I’ve fallen asleep at the wheel, literally. I’ve thrown dirty socks out of a car window. I’ve been on a non-stop road trip from Toronto to Texas via Chicago in a van without air conditioning, during a heat wave just to catch a 14 hour bus ride to Guadalajara Mexico. They tell me the bus was boarded by machine gun wielding militia. I can’t confirm it, I was asleep.

I once was separated from my friends by a freight train, so I jumped onto it and then jumped off on the other side, while it was still moving. Yes, it hurt. One hot summer night, when everyone else was asleep, two friends our bikes and I went pool hopping. The pools were closed, we and our bikes were nonetheless refreshed.  I’ve taken Ninjitsu. I was able to do back flips, but only for a day. I was known to perform flawless diving rolls over park fences and other inanimate objects. Both high school fist fights I was in ended up in friendships. I’ve dozed off in the dentist’s chair, while he was drilling. I’ve intervened for a woman being harassed by a drunk boyfriend. Twice I’ve had to speak for children being ignored by their parents at the park, on the same day. I’ve dislocated my shoulder while rollerblading, playing basketball, slipping on ice and falling down stairs, in a mosh pit, sliding down a slide, drying my hair, while driving and just stretching. I have three screws in my right shoulder. I still have all of my wisdom teeth I’ve had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled–at once. I once sliced through four layers of clothing and my shin with my own ski, got stitched up, and continued skiing for the rest of the day. I’ve signed my organ donor card. I have, in the past, bleached my hair blond. I dislocated a finger while wrestling with a friend, the doctor told me, “no brain, no pain” as he set it. The jerk.

For a time, I knew Kevin Young. I shook Bill Maher‘s hand at an after party, but he was so stoned I doubt he’d remember. Carl Reiner once waited for an elevator a couple of feet away from me. I’ve been stuck in an elevator, and yes, you can open the doors with your hands. I’ve sat and had conversations with pan handlers, very interesting people. I’ve met at least one African prince. A businessman from Cameroon gave me a bracelet as a gift, which I subsequently lost. I have the first season box set of 24 autographed by Elisha Cuthbert, I’ve never met her. Andy Budd ditched me in a bar, after I bought him a drink.

When I was a teenager, after the first dusting of snow of only a half centimeter, I dressed up in a full snow suit. The doorbell rang and I answered to find my elementry school crush dropping my sister off. In humiliation I ran and jumped into the half centimeter of snow. That was my second most humiliating episode, don’t ask me about the first. Ever.

I once memorized and performed a lengthy dialogue as a monologue, switching parts as I went. I’ve been a Roman soldier in an Easter play. I’ve sung in a choir. I was the fiddler in my High School production of Fiddler on the Roof, I faked playing the fiddle the whole time. I can perform David Blaine‘s levitation trick, anywhere. I can put lit matches into my mouth. I can make coins appear from children’s ears. It once took me several years to get a joke, I still remember the exact moment I got it. I’m a twice published author. Thrice if you count that scam poetry anthology. I’ve  been known to spontaneously write storylines for illustrations. I can draw. I once won a BMX bike in a city-wide drawing competition. I’m an amateur photographer. I’ve DJed a grade 6 graduation party. I’ve been in a band, yet never played a live show. I compose music. I once froze up during a High School play audition for which I had practiced extensively. The director asked me to sing Happy Birthday instead. The jerk.

I had an email address before it was popular. I shut down my MySpace account before it became popular to have one. I maintain a “fake” alter ego account on Twitter. I’ve contributed content to both Wikipedia and IMDB. I ran my own Bulletin Board System in the mid 90’s. In my High School computer class, rather than write a simple shape drawing program like the assignment, I wrote one with advanced controls allowing you to save the resulting drawing to disk. The class used it to create graphics for their next assignment. I won the “Computer Proficiency” award in High School. I was the Canadian distributor for a European demo group back when the Internet was a dream and contact with Europe meant long distance charges. I’ve made friends on IRC and invited them to stay at my house, before the birth of “social media.” I launched my first website in 1997. I’m in Wikipedia.

I once stayed up all night watching movies in a video store. I saw The Matrix in theater 11 times. I watched The Princess Bride so often that I was able to recite the entire movie from memory for the entertainment of my fellow Scouts at camp. I was into Doctor Who before it was cool. Tom Baker is my doctor. I’ve read all of Tom Clancy’s novels (the ones he wrote, not the ones with his name on them). I’ve read all five books of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.  I watched the first five seasons of Lost in two and a half weeks. Though I haven’t read it from cover to cover, I’m fairly certain I’ve read the entire Bible more than once. I own the first and only season of Firefly. Whenever possible, I pay for my music. I regularly purchase musical scores for movies, sometimes before the movie comes out in theaters. I’ve been to a Yanni concert. I have a Simpsons script, no you may not have it.

I’ve washed cars professionally and for charity. I’ve cut hair for friends and family. I was a dishwasher for 11 months. I test games. Once, when I lost my job, I took a walk over to my friend’s computer business to find he needed someone to take over while he was on honeymoon. I took the job. I’ve unknowingly interviewed for a job at a domain squatter. I literally felt nauseated when I found out. I asked them to burn my resume. I was a telemarketer for a day. Never again. I’ve felt the cold lonely grip of the sunless morning while delivering newspapers. I’ve thrice snuck out of the country for job interviews while still employed. I’ve had to pass on job opportunities with Yahoo!, Netflix, LinkedIn, Twitter, Apple and Amazon because I wasn’t able to move. I did eventually get a job at Yahoo!

I’m a glutton for facts. I regularly use the ‘net to verify references. It makes me appear to know more than I actually do. I know that most of the forwards you get in your inbox are hoaxes. I know where the real Area 51 is. I know that most people mistakenly refer to CIA Officers as CIA Agents, when they both mean something distinctly different. I know that ants do in fact sleep, man did land on the moon, and the NSA listens to all of your communications. I hate it when documentaries get facts wrong.

I’ve eaten cow tongue, sheep brains and fish eye. I prefer to use chop sticks when eating oriental food. I’ve snorted Jell-O (not the powder, silly). I’ve made Thanksgiving dinner, more than once. I’ve driven to Cornwall just for a Slurpee. I can drink coffee and fall asleep immediately afterwards. I dream vividly every night. I’ve been to a rave and only had Red Bull. I was once wrongly accused of exposing my gluteus maximus out the back window of the school bus and had to write, “I will not expose my gluteus maximus out the back window of the bus,” a thousand times. I had never exposed anything. I learned how to tie a standard shoelace knot when I was 16. Prior to that, I would tie a two loop shoelace knot. I’ve been to a silent auction and didn’t place a bid. I acknowledge pan handlers, even if I don’t have any change to give. I’ve tried buttering my hair as a remedy for bedhead, it hardly worked and it took several washings to get rid of the smell. I have skinny dipped, twice. Three times if you count the snow. I’ve emceed a demo competition. I once got a tattoo of a Christogram on a whim and only researched it afterwards, I was happy with what I found. I failed the seventh grade. I’ve been to summer school more than once. In summer school a kid who reminded me of a friend in high school jokingly tried to stab me with a knife, luckily he didn’t succeed. I failed high school physics badly only to pass it with flying colours in summer school. The high school teacher had a reputation for failing most of his class and for using a University text book. I dropped out of college. I later took one college course in design. I enrolled in Theology at Concordia University as a stepping stone into the Computer Science program, but I never took any Theology courses. I dropped out after a couple of semesters. I later took several University courses as an independent student. I’ve lectured at MIT. No, not to MIT students–but it was still M-I-freakin’-T. For years I was a volunteer at a youth drop-in center. I’ve preached. I can read, write and speak English, French and Armenian. I can usually pick out and even identify different languages by sound or by sight. After having spent two weeks in Mexico I was able to communicate in Spanish. I graduated from Bible college with a double major in music and children’s ministry. I once saved my entire class’ life by pointing out that the muffin pan was covered with oven cleaner, not PAM. I missed the Montreal ice storm of 1998. My name is in the Bible.

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