And so I'll just say that Flexo's "Five Things" post sparked me to go ahead and get this over with.
1) The best moments of my high-school life revolved around brass. I started playing trumpet in sixth grade, and kept at it until my third year of college. Playing a solo "Star-Spangled Banner" in front of thousands of football fans at a pair of high-school playoff games ... participating in a really-talented brass quintet that performed the Canadian Brass' rendition of Pachelbel's Canon at state contest my senior year, and watching as an unannounced, seemingly-unending audience of other schoolkids filed into the contest room to hear us play it (even the judge wasn't sure how to handle that) simply because they'd heard us practicing outside ... and Christmas-caroling with that same quintet all over town on Christmas Eve. Each scenario affected me personally, and I took away from them far more than I probably put in.
At the time, I enjoyed all those moments, of course. But I was still pretty much a kid. Now, almost 20 years later, the memories are still sharp and vivid. Because those times are gone, their importance is magnified.
Hold on to the great times, folks. They are instant, often unexpected, and only too fleeting.
2) I'm one of 54 people in the U.S. who actually enjoy reading "literary" fiction and poetry. I'll admit that this was an acquired taste. Until college, I didn't understand what the big deal was about Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and all the rest of that textbook literature crap. When my English Lit teachers called a story "rich," I had no idea what they were talking about. Sure, I could make up "symbols" and "secondary themes" and stuff and do great on essays.
But it wasn't until sometime in early college, when I reread a batch of short stories ("In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried," by Amy Hempel; "Silver Water," by Amy Bloom; and Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" come to mind) and was figuratively smacked in the face. I finally got it. Stories could tell you secrets and truths about the human condition, and not have to do it overtly.
3) I proposed to my wife in the parking lot of the McDonald's where we'd first met. Amazingly enough, she said yes. Then ordered a Happy Meal.
And here we are, sixteen years later. Which leads me to . . .
4) At work, on my desk, my stapler MUST be to the immediate left of my keyboard. Or someone dies. Really. Except for my wife, who, when she visits, loves to move my stapler to the other side of my desk.
Just to piss me off.
5) Two TV personas I most enjoyed watching while growing up: Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. Everything I needed to know, I learned from Bugs Bunny. Anytime I wanted to be amazed, I watched Michael Jordan.
See ... you only thought I was boring before.