Monday, October 08, 2007

100th Post--100 Things About Me

As I understand it, it is tradition to write your 100th post in this fashion. So, here are:
100 Things About Me

1) I was born in Battle Creek, Michigan on December 5, 1964 at 10:24 PM.
2) I am 6’ 4” tall and have been since I was 16 years old.
3) I am nearsighted and have worn glasses since I was 15 years old.
4) I am allergic to Phenobarbital, a barbiturate I was given post-op when I was three.
5) I have hereditary high blood pressure, which I have had since I was 18 and in the best shape of my life. I have been taking medication for it for years.
6) I have a brother and a sister, six and seven years younger than I, respectively.
7) I have been married twice. My wife is the quite simply the finest person I have ever known and I love her.
8) I have an 18-month old daughter named Sera whom I love more than anyone else in the world except my wife.
9) I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Western Michigan University, 1987.
10) My first major was Computer Systems Engineering, which bored me to tears.
11) I have been a teacher for 20 years; two years as a substitute, eight years at Lew Wallace High School in Gary, Indiana, and the past 10 years at Pierre Moran Middle School in Elkhart, Indiana.
12) I love baseball. I don’t care about any other sport.
13) The Detroit Tigers are my favorite baseball team.
14) I went to five baseball playoff games last year in Detroit, including the first game of the World Series.
15) I played football, basketball, and baseball in high school.
16) I was all-conference in football, and academic all-state in basketball.
17) I used to be able to dunk two-handed when I was 16.
18) I hit three home runs my junior year in high school and was hitting over .400 halfway through the season. I ended up hitting about .200 because I tried to hit one every time I was up to bat.
19) My high school baseball team won the Michigan Class D State Championship in baseball in 1982. I made a defensive play that saved the game.
20) I was class salutatorian in high school.
21) I scored in the 96th percentile on the ACT and received a Michigan Competitive Scholarship.
22) I never took the SAT.
23) I played tuba for four years in school.
24) I like black licorice.
25) I met my wife on the Internet.
26) I have been to China.
27) I buy and sell comic books.
28) I learned to read before I started school because of Superboy #165.
29) My favorite character is Batman.
30) My first comic book was Batman #203 (1968).
31) My favorite cartoon is Batman The Animated Series (1992).
32) I hated all the Batman movies made from 1989 to 1997.
33) I pretty much liked Batman Begins except for the part where Batman kills dozens of ninja.
34) My second favorite character (a close second) is Superman.
35) My favorite TV show ever is Star Trek (1966).
36) I once won a trivia contest at a Star Trek convention. I didn’t miss any questions.
37) I have met Mark Hamill, David Prowse, George Takei, Armin Shimerman, Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, James Doohan, Mr. T, Stan Lee, and all of Aerosmith.
38) I have been to Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California.
39) My favorite movie is Star Wars.
40) My favorite song is “Hotel California,” by the Eagles.
41) My favorite music is rock.
42) My favorite band is Fleetwood Mac.
43) My favorite singer is Stevie Nicks.
44) My favorite comic strip is Calvin & Hobbes.
45) I do imitations of many characters: Yoda, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Quick Draw McGraw, Scooby Doo, and others.
46) I love to draw.
47) My favorite comic book artist is Neal Adams.
48) I have met Neal Adams.
49) My favorite comic book writer is Alan Moore.
50) My favorite author is Pat Conroy.
51) I like old-time radio shows.
52) The Shadow is my favorite.
53) I broke my left wrist when I was 13 playing dodgeball.
54) I am an amateur photographer.
55) The genealogy of my father’s family in America has been documented back to an ancestor born in 1776.
56) I have owned only five cars in my life.
57) I now own a 2003 PT Cruiser that I bought new.
58) I own my own house.
59) I play City of Heroes, a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.
60) I play superhero roleplaying games and buy dice that match the color schemes of my characters.
61) I am a geek!
62) I have had three pets in my life. A basset hound/dachshund mix named Ladybug, a short hair cat named Cuddles, and a Lab/Shepard mix named Shadow. I only named the last one. He’s seven and a half years old.
63) My favorite food is steak. Specifically, Tenderloin, medium rare.
64) I eat Lawry’s seasoning salt on popcorn. I use it sparingly because of my blood pressure.
65) I have a brown belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Karate. I studied for a year and a half before I moved away from my dojo in Michigan City.
66) I have been to Ground Zero in Manhattan.
67) New Orleans is my favorite city.
68) I have been to Mardi Gras. Most of it is not what you see on COPS.
69) My favorite drink is Mountain Dew. I generally avoid caffeine, but it takes six cans of Dew to equal a cup of coffee.
70) Because I had finished all but two of my required classes when I was a senior in high school, I went to vocational school and took Electronics. I used to be able to fix televisions and radios.
71) I saw the first launch of the Challenger space shuttle from EPCOT Center on April 4, 1983 while on spring break.
72) I love movie soundtracks.
73) John Williams’ score for Superman The Movie is my favorite.
74) Politically, I am a liberal who believes in personal responsibility. Help others help themselves is my philosophy.

The following part is not pleasant, but does have a happy ending.

75) My parents divorced when I was almost seven years old.
76) My mother remarried a man who abused me for five years.
77) All of my comic books were immediately burned.
78) I was punched.
79) I was kicked.
80) I was beaten every day except for my birthday and Christmas. Sometimes I didn’t even know why I was being hit.
81) I nearly drowned when my stepfather tried to teach me to swim.
82) The welts on my rear end and my (brother’s) were inspected when the police were called following one of the beatings. They did nothing.
83) My infected fingernail was torn off with pliers because my stepfather was too cheap to take me to the doctor. I ended up in the emergency room because it wouldn’t stop bleeding.
84) He gave me baths until I was 12 because I “didn’t wash well enough.” He would hold my head underwater to rinse my hair until I had to fight for breath.
85) I was made to lie to my teachers about the black eye he gave me in 6th grade.
86) I was beaten in the name of God because the bible says, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.”
87) I am an atheist.
88) I respect other people’s beliefs until they try to force them on me.
89) I was called a moron despite the fact that I got straight A’s.
90) I wasn’t allowed to sit on the furniture in our living room because it was “not for animals.”
91) I went to 11 different elementary schools.
92) I had to have my blood sugar tested when I was 11 because I was deathly thin from not being allowed to eat at dinner.
93) My mother let me move in with my father when I turned 12 because she thought my stepfather was going to kill me.
94) I couldn’t tell my father about the abuse because my stepfather said he would kill my brother (who stayed behind) if I told.
95) My grandparents had bought comics for me and kept them at their house so that I could read them when I visited. The stories of those heroes and how they overcame adversity inspired me to do the same.
96) After the death of my grandfather, my father and grandmother gave me guidance and morals and a sense of self-worth.
97) I had great junior high and high school teachers who believed in me.
98) I became a teacher because of them.
99) I am a success despite the fact that I was a victim of child abuse.
100) I am happy. Here's why:


Magi said...

And we love you, too. The glow on Sera's face when DaDa comes in the room is a dead giveaway.

Martin said...

Jim, very revealing post. And thanks for tipping me on the tradition of the 100th post. Mine is coming soon so I better start my list.