The 100 Things, Revisited

Back in May 2003, I was eager to participate in all manner of Internet activity that could even possibly be construed as community-based, even potentially so. The Internet had given me so much even then and I just wanted to hug it. So I participated in occasional things like Heather Champ’s Mirror Project (which I believe is now on Flickr), as well as other endeavors that now would be as revolutionary as next week’s Facebook-based meme. One of the latter was a kind of tabular autobiography called The 100 Things. This is not to be confused with latter inventions, like the move to simplify one’s life down to only 100 physical objects. Instead, this 100 Things was a list of possibly random facts about a given blogger.

And so, inspired by MetaFilter, I made my list and I posted it, then blogged about it.

In 2005, I updated it a bit.

Today, I’m going to take a step through this list and see what all’s changed.

  1. I was born and raised in Northwest Georgia. – Still true and unchangeable.
  2. I am right-handed. – Still true and unchangeable.
  3. I have one brother, older. – Still true and unchangeable.
  4. I am married. – An update from 2005, still true.
  5. I remember the first thing I ever read: the 1975 Sears Wish Book. – Still true, as I cannot remember anything earlier. I remember even where I was when I read it. I dragged the book into the backyard and read it in the sunshine.
  6. I fell and blacked both eyes in the elementary school playground. – Still true. I fell and my face aligned perpendicularly with a cross-tie.
  7. I have been a youth minister. – Still true.
  8. I attended four colleges in five years for one degree. – Tennessee Wesleyan College, Chattanooga State, Berry College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
  9. I was considered gifted in elementary school. – Technically, I was an “enrichment” kid.
  10. I wanted to be a cartoonist when I grew up. – Which would explain all of the doodling in margins done while I should’ve been paying attention in class.
  11. I wanted to go to Space Camp when I was little. – I’d still go now.
  12. I used to love the smell of mimeographed paper. – I’d still love it now.
  13. I had braces on my teeth for over three years. – How else was my orthodontist to pay for his silver Mercedes convertible?
  14. I moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1995. – Into an apartment in Sandy Springs, just north of Abernathy on Roswell Road.
  15. I graduated from Berry College in the winter of 1994. – And made a valiant effort to stay in Rome, Georgia … right until my third job rejection. I didn’t want to be the site coordinator for the Cedartown Auditorium anyway.
  16. I learned how to drive in a light grey 1976 Ford Granada, my first car. – I’d recommend the same car to any parent with a teenager approaching 16. The Grenada is a tank.
  17. I got my first computer in 1982: a Commodore 64. – And that changed everything …
  18. I was born in March of 1972. – Still true and unchangeable.
  19. I have lived through seven eight presidents, but only remember six seven of them.
  20. I went on a Caribbean Cruise in 1985. – Have never returned to Nassau.
  21. I visited Europe in 1992 for the first time and returned ten years later. – Then again another three times.
  22. I have over 750 CDs, at last count. – Now stored in four zipped-up folders. The cases reside in a landfill.
  23. I used to think I was 6′ tall, but now I know I’m 5’11” or so. – Still true, as I’ve not shrunk.
  24. I had subscriptions to Weekly Reader and National Geographic’s World when I was growing up, but not Highlights. – I guess Boy’s Life would go into this list.
  25. I have maintained a personal website since 1997. – Started with a Mindspring “tilde” site.
  26. I have maintained this weblog – grabbingsand – since 1999. – I had up until a couple of years ago, but let it lapse by accident. It was quickly swiped up and remains squated upon to this day, hence the shift to
  27. I was allergic to milk, cheese and chocolate through much of my childhood. – Allergies were far rarer, or far less diagnosed then.
  28. I took piano lessons for six years. – I sought to learn mostly TV theme songs.
  29. I have a brown belt in taekwondo. – And I’ve never had to use it in a fight, assuming now I could remember.
  30. I graduated from high school in 1989. – In August. Yes, there’s a story.
  31. I used to avoid fishing with my dad, but now I enjoy it. – Since 2005, I’ve maybe gone fishing with Dad once.
  32. I have little patience for deliberate ignorance. – Here we have our first cop-out of the list. It’s a fair statement, but I could’ve said something better, like: I used to pester my older brother to read books that I’d enjoyed, so he’d take the book, flip through it like a deck of cards, then hand it back to me saying, “You’re right, that was a really good book.”
  33. I worked as a freelance designer at a silkscreen t-shirt shop in Athens, Tennessee. For a health fair, I was asked to place Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man on a t-shirt — complete with a modesty-inducing fig leaf. – True story.
  34. I have directed three twelve Shakespearean plays: Romeo & Juliet (directed once, co-directed once), The Tempest (twice), Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, A Comedy of Errors, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Henry IV – Part 1.
  35. I got my first 45rpm record from my brother in 1980: Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Ol’ Lang Syne.” – No regrets.
  36. I want to visit India. – Still do.
  37. I pledged to Alpha Psi Omega, an honorary dramatics society, when I was in college. A society, mind you … not a fraternity. – True story.
  38. I have brown eyes. – Guilty. You can tell I was struggling a bit here for more material.
  39. I lettered in high school — an academic letter for quiz bowl team. I still have the jacket. – Even still.
  40. I saw all three Star Wars films in the theater during their original release. – True story.
  41. I saw my first “real” play at the Chattanooga Little Theatre in elementary school: The Miracle Worker. – Fact.
  42. I volunteered at Dragoncon, a science fiction convention in Atlanta, from 2000 to 2004. In 2005, I attended with a press pass from JIVE Magazine. – That’s right! I was trying to remember the other day how I’d attended in 2005, and that’s how! Oh, good old JIVE. You are missed, and not just for the press passes …
  43. I was Berry College Theatre Company’s Actor of the Year in 1992. – For playing Jay Follett in All The Way Home … or was it Lt Ralph Clark in Our Country’s Good?
  44. I learned a few years ago that my first girlfriend married her step-dad after the death of her mother. – She did. She’s since divorced, remarried, seems happy.
  45. I used to stay up late on Saturday nights to watch Doctor Who on Georgia Public Television. – And The Tripods, when available.
  46. I had my first kiss behind a red fire truck during a church field trip to the Rossville Fire Department. – See aforementioned girlfriend.
  47. I can read some French, but I am far from fluent. – Some. I’d say not even that.
  48. I thought I was a Republican in high school, but I wasn’t. I just didn’t like Michael Dukakis. – Not sure anyone did.
  49. I wanted bell bottom jeans when I was little because the flares reminded me of the legs on a Shogun Warrior. – Didn’t they?
  50. I used to get carsick riding the van to kindergarten. – At least once a week.
  51. I taught myself how to drive a stick shift. – By driving around my circular neighborhood on a quest to find the clutch.
  52. I miss a handful of people from high school — the rest can stay missing. – … and then Facebook happened.
  53. I have always been fascinated with time travel. – Even the virtual and textual kind, like this.
  54. I love theoretical physics, but I am horrible at complex math. – And yet I’m the one asked for how much is a good tip.
  55. I work do not work for a massive corporation. – Not anymore.
  56. I can have a decent conversation with almost anybody about almost anything. – I also have a nice personality and bathe regularly … I was scraping the bottom of another barrel here.
  57. I would never make a good vegetarian. – Actually, I’d make a good vegetarian if I got meat days for good behavior.
  58. I was fired from the young men’s department of Belk for failing to meet my sales quota. I have no regrets about this. – Duckheads are of the Devil.
  59. I haven’t been in a fist fight since junior high school. – Looking back, that wasn’t even a real fist fight. It was a staged nerd fight between me and some other socially maladjusted kid because a pack of jocks thought it would be funny. I don’t remember throwing any punches or taking any shots.
  60. I have been downsized or laid-off at least five times since 1995. – No change here.
  61. I used to own the complete catalog of Queen albums — they all went missing in 2001. – I know where they went. And its okay.
  62. I saw the Statler Brothers at the UTC Arena when I was ten or so — that was my first concert. – I will happily sing along if “Flowers On The Wall” comes on the radio.
  63. I was a Boy Scout, though I quit shortly after getting my Tenderfoot badge. – No change.
  64. I always associate potato soup with Sunday afternoons and 60 Minutes on CBS. – Ed Bradley was my favorite.
  65. I can be quite persuasive when I want to be. – This belongs in a fortune cookie.
  66. I try to maintain a very long fuse on my temper. – It’s even longer now.
  67. I broke my nose when I was six or so, falling out of a camper. – It wasn’t diagnosed as a break in the ER and the after-effects never left my awareness until I had sinus surgery in 2010.
  68. I played Abraham Lincoln in an elementary school pageant of American music. – My mom made my beard.
  69. I had nightmares about Count Dracula coming after me with a hammer when I was small. – Fangs are not as scary as a giant mallet.
  70. I got my first email address in 1993 – America On-Line. – It was like Facebook, kids.
  71. I have never smoked marijuana, though I see no reason for it to be illegal. – Yes. Still square.
  72. I love fresh apples from Ellijay, Georgia – crisp and tart and juicy. – Few things are as delicious.
  73. I like to people watch in public places like parks and shopping malls. – And sci-fi conventions and tourist traps and amusement parks.
  74. I might be addicted to caffeine, or perhaps I just really, really like coffee. – …
  75. I’ve got soul, though it is not always obvious to the casual observer. – Okay, now come on 2003 Me … this is just … oh, I don’t know what to do with you.
  76. I can tell I am getting sleepy at the PC when my middle finger gets lazy and I start right-clicking everything. – Still.
  77. I don’t like Mondays — I want to burn the whole day down. – And now, 2003 Me is digging the crates for lyrics. Damn.
  78. I think 80s music stations are for people who don’t really remember the 80s. – I stand by this statement.
  79. I saw a UFO when I was about 11 or so — looked like two gray discs attached at the center. – You’d think I’d have more to say about this. I don’t.
  80. I wanted long hair when I was in junior high — it never quite worked out. I blame Richard Marx. – And Longshot.
  81. I am not as patient as I used to be. – Hey, look! It’s kind of a contradiction, what with the whole temper thing above …
  82. I love roadtrips, but I don’t like traffic. – Oh, 2003 Me … nobody likes traffic.
  83. I want to live at least a century. – This Achievement is 40% Unlocked.
  84. I need to write a novel, and I will. – Someday.
  85. I have two favorite made-by-Mom desserts: apple-chocolate-walnut sheet cake and something called cherry swirl. – The cake doesn’t happen so often anymore, but the cherry thing does.
  86. I’ve had contact lenses before, but probably never will again. – I’ve a pack sitting in the upstairs bathroom, waiting for another try.
  87. I have four obvious scars: on my right hand, on my left knee, on my right temple, on my chin. – The one on my knee is mostly gone.
  88. I’ve had one two root canals — it was not as bad as everyone said it would be they are awful. – And that original root canal? Had to be redone by a competent endodontist.
  89. I like cemeteries, though I fear for their continued existence and use. – 2003 Me was channeling Morrissey.
  90. I don’t deal well with malfunctioning technology. – Sigh. Who does? Let’s replace this one as well, maybe with: I had my first mixed drink, a margarita, at a Ruby Tuesdays on Barrett Parkway in 1995.
  91. I was an anomaly in high school because my parents were still together while all of my friends had step-parents. – And they still are.
  92. I built most of my library of books while I was working at Waldenbooks in Chattanooga — the result of a 33% discount. – Most of that library has now been donated to a real library.
  93. I was raised in the United Methodist Church. – True.
  94. I would’ve liked to have been a beatnik in the Greenwich Village of the 1950s. – No, not so much anymore.
  95. I wish I could’ve seen the World Trade Center when it was standing. – A little maudlin, but true.
  96. I think pleats on mens’ pants should be outlawed. – With tuxedos as the only exception.
  97. I don’t see politics as a barrier to friendship. – Sadly, I’m becoming a minority in this belief.
  98. I am anxious optimistic for my country’s future.
  99. I am given hope by the smile of a child anyone.
  100. I believe that everything will be okay eventually.

What about you? If you made it through this whole list, it might be time to make your own. Leave it in a comment or post it on Facebook or even start your own blog on WordPress or even Tumblr. Sort it out, make a list, then see what changes down the line.


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