1. If I die before I witness a San Francisco Giants' World Championship, my life will be somewhat incomplete, no matter what else happens.
2. One of my proudest achievements is also one of my most frustrating: I was "reassigned" as the campus newspaper adviser after one year because the administration was uncomfortable with actual journalism being taught, rather than just putting out a monthly propaganda newsletter about how great things were. It still aggravates me just as much almost three years later.
3. If there had been "Rock Band" when I was in college, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have graduated, at least on time.
4. As it was, it was close: I had to call from a pay phone in Switzerland (a month after walking the stage at Davis) to verify I had actually passed a class that the professor had threatened me with no credit in. I apologize to the Swiss people who had to deal with the drunken American redhead yelling "I graduated! Yes! Oh, wait. Is that a good thing?"
5. Most days I can look around and think how blessed I am to come to work every day and be surrounded by youthful vitality and laughter and noise. Some days I simply want to kill them all. The day half of them cut to get free Denny's was the most recent example.
6. My wife and I first got together in a friends' house in San Francisco where neither of us lived. In the morning, I woke up and went down the hill to walk in the Bay to Breakers race with some other buddies. Our pre-planned costume theme? The Walk of Shame.
7. My biggest problem with most who call themselves "conservatives" is that they usually just repeat ideology they've heard some right-wing commentator spout off, and they rarely have any history or evidence to back it up. The fact that they've been on the wrong side of every single civil rights issue and continue to back things like Prop H8te is especially galling.
8. I can't stand when people are consistently late. It speaks volumes about their personalities, even though every time they are tardy, they have an excuse about that one time and refuse to see it as a destructive pattern. I lived in San Francisco and commuted to Pleasant Hill for five years. In that time, I was late to school exactly twice: once when there was a gigantic accident on the Bay Bridge, and once when I was staying over at my parents' in Lafayette and set the alarm an hour late.
9. I can't take anyone's writing completely seriously who still hasn't figured out homonyms like your/you're, there/their/they're, its/it's, etc. It makes me apoplectic when I see someone has made a sign for the world to see (like at a sporting event or in front of a store). It makes me question if humans are really worthwhile as a species when I point this out to the signmaker and he or she shrugs instead of immediately apologizing and remedying the situation.
10. I nicknamed my sister "Vern" at an early age, and it has stuck with her into her 30's.
11. Perhaps the best compliment I've ever received was from a student who wrote to me in her journal a few years back: "You say what you'll do, and you do what you say." My wife recently told me something similar. In that vein, I think honesty is one of my biggest strengths/weaknesses. I am a terrible liar, and I often say things without really thinking about them. I then have to backpedal with a stunning lack of grace or finesse because of the aforementioned lack of guile.
12. I've never seen a tattoo that I thought was attractive. They are a total turn-off for me. I also firmly believe (with some evidence) that nearly every single person who gets a tattoo regrets doing so later in life. It's no secret why: most people get them between the ages of 18-25. You're not going to be the person you are at 30 that you were at 19. And thank god for that.
13. I consider myself a good writer in the same way I consider myself good at "Rock Band." I'm better than most people I know, which gives me an inflated sense of self-worth right up until I read something by F. Scott Fitzgerald or watch a youtube video of some nine year-old playing "Free Bird." That usually puts me in my place.
14. It frustrates me when people don't understand satire. There's a reason that "South Park" and "The Simpsons" are better shows than "Family Guy," and why "Tropic Thunder" is a better movie than "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."
15. If you saw "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," and CAN'T WAIT for the new "Transformers" movie, but you've never seen "Goodfellas"...well...let's not talk about movies until you've grown up a bit, eh?
16. I love and am a passionate defender of the Bay Area. I've lived here my whole life (except for a four-year sojourn at nearby Davis), just bought a house here, and went to elementary school with four of the five groomsmen from my wedding. I don't think it's because I'm a homebody, necessarily. I think it's because I was born and raised in one of the most desirable places on earth to be born and raised, and I've had the good sense to appreciate it, along with most of my friends. Kuzak will come to his senses sooner or later.
17. If you were born and raised in the Bay Area, you MUST root exclusively for Bay Area sports teams, no exceptions. If you root for the Lakers or another historically successful franchise, you are a poser. You're stuck with the Warriors like the rest of us, like it or not. End of discussion. Oh, and also: If you root for USC, the Yankees, or the Cowboys and you didn't go there/aren't from there, you are probably the Devil, or at least related to Him.
18. I'm always skeptical of people who insist on defining themselves as "we" and losing their identities to their significant others. It even bugs me when people post facebook/myspace profile photos locked in some sort of embrace with their spouse/mate/hookup partner, whatever. You can be in love and still have your own identity. Oh, and if you're under 25 or so, you are not sane when it comes to relationships. You may think and believe you are with all your might, but that does not make it so. Trust me.
19. If there were three abilities (non-superpower division) that I wish I had, they would be, in order: 1. Be able to dunk a basketball 2. Be able to hit a home run out of a major league ballpark 3. Be an amazing singer/actor (I'm in a few movies already but am not "amazing"- check out my videos). Also, I'd settle for just being an average ball hockey player, instead of the crappy one I am currently.
20. My ideal Friday night is take-out dinner at home with Eileen, watching Battlestar Glactica and a Sharks/Warriors/Giants victory, and having a couple ice-cold martinis. The college version of me just stomped on my head repeatedly while the mid-20's version stood there and watched, nodding.
21. I've been meaning to lose the same 20 pounds or so for roughly the last eleven years, but beer and fried foods keep altering the deal. I pray they do not alter it further.
22. I don't really have a favorite food, but at gunpoint I'd go with Mexican over Italian. I could probably eat some form of tacos for the rest of my life.
23. I used to describe my music taste as "eclectic." Then some guys at work made me realize that I was using "eclectic" to mean "a fan of girl pop music in addition to more typical rock fare." I watched an Avril Lavigne concert in HD last night at 2:30 in the morning. I'm not making this up.
24. My feelings about organized religion range from "benign and somewhat useful" at best to "contemptible and the root of most human tragedy for the past few thousands of years" at worst. Yet I'm the son of a church choir director, I married a Catholic in a Catholic church, and I find newer, more out-there religions like Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Scientology endlessly fascinating. I'm even reading a book on Mormons right now, and it's my second one.
25. I typically disdain sentimental, tacky crap. But every once in a while I take a look around at my family, my friends, my home, and the 40-50 happy birthday messages I got a few days ago, and I feel pretty damn lucky. Although, I'd really like a dog somewhere in my life.