25 Random Things About Me

Facebook goofiness. The rules: we were supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about ourselves.


1.) I realize that math does not apply to age. Every parent learns this. There is a point when you realize it’s not possible for your children to be as old as they are, since that makes them older than you are. I have two fantastic sons. Somehow, they are now older than I am. Math does not work when calculating age.

2.) When I was young, I drove an 18-wheeler “big rig,” hauling steel around rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.

3.) I once lived in North Pole, Alaska. There, I worked as a newsman and DJ at a 50,000 watt AM/100,000 watt FM radio station that was housed in a log cabin with a dirt roof. We had more listeners in Russia than in North Pole. I helped build the log cabin.

4.) I’m 6’4″ tall. I don’t like being tall, because I always stand out in a crowd. Every dumb thing I do is obvious to everyone. I’ve been this tall since junior high. Strangers always come up to me and ask me to help them find someone in a crowd. How do I feel about that? Eh…

5.) I grew up (well, I’ve never “grown up,” but you know what I mean…) in Wayzata, Minnesota, a far-out suburb of Minneapolis. That’s on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s populated by very rich people (Pillsbury’s, Dayton’s, Macgregor’s, etc.). I lived literally and figuratively ‘on the wrong side of the tracks’: the Wayzata Yacht Club was on one side of the tracks, my home on the other. As a child, I fell asleep to the sounds of the buoys gently ringing.

6.) I drove a brand new pickup truck to North Pole, Alaska, from Minneapolis, which meant driving the AlCan (“Alaska-Canada”) Highway, which was mostly a two-lane gravel road through the wilderness. Little traffic, mostly big rigs. I came around a curve and a large pipe had fallen off a big rig. I hit it; it took both tires off their rims on the driver’s side. Bare steel rims + gravel road + curve + wilderness is not a good combination. Luckily, while most of the route had dense forest right up to the edge of the road, this curve didn’t. It was just a smooth mountain side. The truck went over the edge and rolled three times down the mountain. I had my seat belt on. When the truck stopped, I was upside down, unhurt, hanging in my seat, held in by my seat belt. I have ALWAYS worn my seat belt ever since.

7.) I have the two greatest sons in the world. My oldest (see #1 above) is a typical jock and soon to be a chef (only chef I know of with abs!), graduating with a B.S. in Culinary Arts & Management with honors, working in 4-star restaurants in Laguna Beach. My youngest is a very talented actor (yes, I say that as a producer and director, not as a dad) who was trained at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa and accepted into UC Berkeley’s theater program. He now seems to be doing that “gotta find myself” thing that hippies have always done. I am very proud of both of them. I am very proud of both of them.

8.) I should mention that I was married. Once. I think it proved that I’m incapable of having a relationship. God knows I try, but it seems hopeless.

9.) I am liberal. Intolerant of racism and elitism. So, I’m usually ostracized by everyone. If I don’t ostracize them first. And why the hell does the word “ostracize” seem like it’s based on the word “ostrich”? Is there a connection?

10.) I helped introduce DVDs to the world. I worked at Columbia-TriStar Home Video a dozen years ago as “Manager of Domestic Marketing, DVD” when that format was brand new and we were trying to get it accepted. Did a damn fine job of that, I feel.

11.) Which reminds me, NOTHING in my life ever has gone as it should. Although I have occasionally exuded the illusion of stability, everything in my life has always been weird as hell. My goals are usually interrupted by the need to survive.

12.) I’ve had my “fifteen minutes of fame” more times than I should have. I’m ready for something completely scandalous.

13.) I’m in decent shape and am the same size now as I was when I was in high school. If I found any of those clothes, they’d still fit. Weird. Which reminds me of how mad my dad was when I bought a belt with a pewter buckle back in junior high. He was mad that I was so frivolous and such a patsy to fashion and spent so much more than a plain belt would have cost. Me? “Fashion“??

14.) I’ve never really been “into” sports. One of my childhood issues was the presumptions about me that were always made, so being tall, I hated that everyone presumed I’d play basketball.

15.) I tried to follow professional football, but the Minnesota Vikings kicked that out of me by going to the Super Bowl four times and losing every one. (Sorry, Matt)

16.) My oldest son is the most rabid football fan I know. He’s a fan of the Vikings. We don’t talk during football season.

17.) I’ve done a bit of acting. Love it, but don’t have the face for it. I’ve been in some stuff, though. And, as an “extra,” too, which isn’t really acting. But even as an extra, I tried to act, so I’d end up in what we call “featured” positions. That’s why you’ve seen me on FRIENDS. I was the “tall neighbor” in the Christmas episode about Monica baking cookies. Twenty million people saw that. Take a moment and let THAT sink in.

18.) For a while a couple years ago, I used to drive onto the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank every day to go to my office there. I miss that. I have a picture of my parking space with my name on it that I look at every now and then when feeling down.

19.) I’ve always been tech crazy. I’m not the “old guy who doesn’t know how to use a computer.” I was following computers and watched the first Apple (not the MAC) come out and the Radio Shack TRS 80 come out. I bought a TI 99/4A in 1980. (HUH??) I was using e-mail in 1985 via something called MCI Mail, which included the online Wall Street Journal. Everything was text back then, and commands were all DOS-like. (Huh????) I was active on BBSs long before the WWW existed.

20.) I don’t currently own a movie camera and that makes me feel naked. I sold my last one a year and a half ago. It was a Panasonic DVX 100A, one of the best cameras ever made.

21.) I’ve never done as much as I’ve wanted to do, and yet I’m always very busy doing silly stuff like “25 Random Things About Me.” As a writer, and all writers know this, there is an endless supply of those things which one MUST do instead of write.

22.) People have asked me what my sexual preference is. I always answer, “It’s ‘YES!’

23.) Comment 22 is further complicated by the fact I know I’m in my early 20s inside; it’s only on the outside that time has viciously betrayed me. I never remember my chronological age. PLEASE don’t help me with this.

24.) Many years ago, I wrote a series of “Barnard’s Laws.” The first one is, “The greatest need of mankind is not food, shelter, or even sex. It’s the need to re-write what another has written.”

25.) The first time I was in Los Angeles, I had left Fairbanks, Alaska and it was 60 degrees below zero (real temperature, not wind chill). When I landed 4 hours later or so in Los Angeles, it was 80 degrees above zero. I stepped into LAX still wearing my snorkel parka. (Proving the absurdity of #13 above!)

I am shocked to have come up with 25 random things, and they are ALL boring as hell! Someday, I gotta do something with my life.


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