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Carol and Michael - Schaumburg Flyers game - August 2000

The Guy

name: Michael
gender: Male
location: Hoffman Estates, IL
age: 48
nationality: All American! but Polish and Lithuanian heritage
hair: dark brown with gray... what's left of it
eyes: supposed to be blue, but looks gray
height: 5'3"
weight: what???? ummm... over what I should be
domination: right-handed
sign: Capricorn
status: D.I.N.K. - married to Carol
occupation: Computer Messaging Engineer (by trade)
current job: Temporarily on a 1 year contract gig
pets: Bunnies (2) - "Indy" and Chip
wishlist: Amazon
vacation spot: Las Vegas, baby!
favorite past job Puppeteer

100 Things About Me

1. I was born in Chicago, Illinois at St. Mary's of Nazareth Hospital
2. I am a Capricorn
3. I never knew my grandfathers
4. I still remember the apartment that we lived in for my first 6 years of life
5. I have only one sibling, my younger sister Diane
6. My sister hit me in the head with a frying pan when she was 4
7. I played Little League baseball, but only one year
8. I went to the Illinois State Science Fair when I was in 7th grade
9. I played football in 8th grade and loved it
10. I went to a Catholic grammar school - St. Ferdinand
11. Yes, I was an altar boy
12. I was in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers
13. I still remember to this day going to my first White Sox baseball game with my dad
14. I also remember going to Kodak Photo Night and taking pictures of the players on the field
15. I remember my first twilight double header, Sox vs the Kansas City Athletics who wore those yellow jerseys one game and green jerseys the next
16. I had an allergy test when I was a kid and found out I was allergic to grass, trees, dust, dogs, cats and vermouth
17. I had a pet parakeet though my mom was afraid of birds
18. I had some pet mice though my mom was deathly afraid of them (she still can't look at mice/rats on TV)
19. The only fight that I've ever been in was in grade school when I head-butted a kid in class in 4th grade
20. I went to a Catholic all-boys High School - Gordon Tech
21. I worked in the high school TV studio, and did the morning news for two years
22. The high school TV studio bugged the principal's office but had to remove the mic when the Secret Service came for a sweep before a Walter Mondale visit
23. I got drunk for the first time at a Stage Crew New Year's Eve party on Sloe Gin Fizzes
24. I used to call Bingo for my High School twice a week
25. When I was calling Bingo, a patron offered me a job as a jockey for his race horses
26. My first used car was a green Ford Maverick and I didn't get it until I was in college
27. My first new car was an beige AMC Concorde
28. I used to be a serious John Denver, Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow fan
29. Though I know I attended my prom, it was unmemorable
30. The worst job I had was working for a catering company
31. I never left town to go to college - I went to Northeastern Illinois University
32. I never graduated from college, but got three years of education
33. I auditioned to be a puppeteer on a children's TV show in Chicago without having puppeteered before - and got the job
34. The TV show that I worked on won to local Emmy Awards for Children's Program and an IRIS Award for Excellence in Children's Programming from the NATPE
35. The TV Station in Chicago (WLS, the ABC affiliate) took us all out to the Pump Room to celebrate the IRIS award and take publicity photos - I thought this was so cool
36. I was actually mentioned by name in the acceptance speech for one of the Emmy awards. Way cool.
37. There was a girl that was at the auditions that was on the crew that I just couldn't forget
38. I married that girl 4 years later
39. My first day as a puppeteer I had to don a full size gorilla suit and ride a bucking six-foot banana
40. I have absolutely no pictures of me puppeteering on any of the shows and it upsets me greatly
41. I puppeteered in a pilot of a potential series and worked with Broderick Crawford
42. Because of the pilot, I am now three degrees away from Kevin Bacon (I worked with Broderick Crawford in this pilot, Broderick Crawford was in A Little Romance (1979) with Diane Lane, Diane Lane was in My Dog Skip (2000) with Kevin Bacon)
43. I was a Medium Sized Soft Drink in a McDonald's Happy Meal commercial
44. Puppeteering was the best job I have ever had still to this day
45. I have been in the IT industry since 1978
46. I've always felt that my IT skills were in my head, but my puppetry skills were in my heart
47. I went to a friend's prom as her date while I was engaged (with my future wife's permission, of course)
48. After I got married, I lost my hair, gained weight and needed glasses. Go figure.
49. I started taking flying lessons in a Piper Cherokee 140, but stopped after my instructor had me fly into clouds to understand the sensation (with less than 8 hours of time under my belt)
50. The clincher to leaving my instructor was sitting in the backseat during another student's cross country trial, only to have the plane run out of fuel because the instructor wanted to go to a different airport
51. I used to go on ski trips to the Michigan Upper Peninsula, renting a chalet with a large group of people, but haven't done that in decades
52. 5 days before my wedding, a girl I worked with that sat across from me in the office was killed in a car accident, sending that week into turmoil
53. I was in the first pilot program for an adult session at US Space Camp, and have returned several times since
54. Carol & I moved out to Hoffman Estates in 1984 and have been living here ever since
55. We had the house built on a large corner lot because a kid had moved around pins on the development map in the sales office, allowing us to put down a down payment on a lot that already was sold to a couple that was actually in the office at the time. It was a way for the developer to make amends for forcing us out of the lot we chose
56. This is the longest Carol and I have lived in one place for all of our lives
57. I have lived in only 4 places my entire life
58. Carol & I used to feed bunnies outside our patio door when we first moved into the neighborhood
59. Carol and I have had 3 pet bunnies over 20 years
60. I love watching airplanes, being at an airport, and flying and would love to work for a major airline
61. Other than a short cruise to the Bahamas, I have never been outside of the country
62. I do not have a passport
63. I have never been arrested
64. I've watched baseball games at Comiskey (old and new), Wrigley, Dodger Stadium, Camden Yards, Miller Park (and old County Stadium), and Comerica Park
65. I bought a Nissan 300ZX with a 5-speed manual transmission without knowing how to drive a stick, and had to be driven home in the car by the dealer
66. I Drove to Florida to watch the launch of STS-26 (the first shuttle launch since the Challenger disaster) from special viewing area inside the Kennedy Space Center, went to Space Camp 7 days later, then flew to Houston to go to the Johnson Space Center to see the crew from the shuttle flight
67. I worked with a group of students in Norfolk, VA to flight-test an experiment on NASA's KC-135 prior to it being launched on the shuttle
68. I was supposed to be on the KC-135 with the experiment, but even though I passed my Physiologic Training at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, I failed the Air Force physical for being 3 pounds overweight. I never got to experience Zero-G, though my friends did.
69. I played co-ed 14" "Mush Ball" in a league
70. To my knowledge, I've never broke a bone (I may have broke my little toe last year, but I never got X-Rays taken since you can't do anything about it)
71. The only stitches I've ever had was because of hand surgery to release a captured tendon in my left index finger (which I need to have done again)
72. I've never stayed overnight in a hospital (the hand surgery was outpatient)
73. I have partial season tickets to the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Wolves (AHL). I have no idea how I started to like hockey
74. I'm sorry, I know this is contrary to too many people in town, but I hate the Chicago Cubs, but love Wrigley Field
75. I have no tolerance for people that drive like idiots. No wonder there is road rage...
76. I don't like the way I look
77. I have been unemployed since June 1, 2001, though I have had two very short-term consulting gigs since then
78. I have no tolerance for people who believe that New York City is the absolute center of the universe and no other place on earth is any good. The world does not revolve around you!
79. I LOVE BEEF and my motto is "I didn't claw my way up the food chain to eat vegetables" Beef. It's what's for dinner. As often as possible.
80. I love Las Vegas and wouldn't mind living there
81. I love photography (as you can see from the photographs with my blog entries) and videography
82. I love my TiVo and think it has changed the way I've viewed television. Oh, and add to that our DirecTV systems. Ooooooooo...
83. I am one of the many that have been unemployed due to the Dot Com Crash and I miss my Dot Com times
84. I love taking long walks, though I don't do it
85. I don't understand why I enjoy Reality TV as much as I do. I would love to be on The Mole, Amazing Race, and maybe Big Brother
86. I don't smoke and I have no tolerance for people that smoke around me without regard to me be effected by their smoke
87. Carol and I don't have any kids and I'm starting to regret that
88. I've been amazed at my wife's strength when she went through her double mastectomy 2 years ago
89. I've been amazed by the determination that Carol has shown recently to lose weight and feel inadequate to do so myself
90. I procrastinate every chance I get
91. I get a certain exhilaration when I gamble, mostly at craps, and blackjack, and I'm no good at sports bets
92. I am not what people would call a "drinker", though I do have a drink every now and then
93. I can't remember the last time I drank a glass of milk
94. If money were no object, I'd travel the globe for the rest of my life
95. I am getting increasingly concerned that when I die, no one will remember me. I will have left no footprints of my life behind.
96. I dream of building a "time machine" that allows the recording of events that have happened in the past, to help with producing a truthful history of the world, not to mention a means of showing the truth for legal trials. It would be run by the UN so that the world could become a better place. Yeah, like that's going to happen...
97. I don't cook, but think I could do a good job if I had the chance
98. I never felt an earthquake
99. I love gadgets
100. I have let many of my friends slip away from me over the years through my inaction, and have deeply missed them all. I just wish I can get everyone back into my life

You know... 100 things, though hard to put together, may not be enough. I may have to add to it when I remember other things...

101. I am extremely shy, and that is often misinterpreted by others
102. I (somehow) never get hugged. And yet it's an awkward situation when I don't know when to hug someone (I don't come from a family of huggers)
103. I carry a grudge
104. I can't dance worth a damn
105. No one has seen my legs in public - I never wear shorts.
106. For the last twenty years, I've had a police scanner radio next to my bed that is on overnight while we sleep, listening to police, fire, EMS, calls for Chicago and surrounding areas.
107. I haven't been in a pool in over a decade
108. In general, if it's green, I don't eat it (lettuce, green beans, green onions, green peppers are the exception)
109. Nothing is better than cold, fresh, off the vine tomatoes, in the summer - sliced, with salt and pepper
110. My only phobia is that I'm afraid to cross drawbridges. I can feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I get to the center. As soon as I step over the "seam" in the center, I'm fine
111. I have no interest in college football - even less (if that's possible) in college basketball
112. I don't vote in primary elections because it requires me to declare a party - which I refuse to do. I want to vote for who I believe is the best candidate, regardless of party
113. In my head, I feel 10 years younger, but my body feels 10 years older
114. I despise Microsoft with every fiber of my being
115. I believe there is no excuse for parents ignoring misbehaving kids in public
116. Underwear of choice - Jockey tightie-whities (wow, I don't believe I actually put that one out here in public...)
117. I don't play any musical instrument - I have no rhythm (see #104)
118. I have directed the Folk Choir at my parish for a few months while waiting for them to hire a permanent replacement (remarkable, considering #117)
119. Favorite music: Pop and classic rock
120. For some reason, I have no interest in reading books
121. I think they would be doing us a service if the Federal government would just abolish pennies
122. I guess I do have another phobia - I'm a little nervous about heights
123. I have no flowers, let alone a garden - too many allergies (not to mention Carol being deathly afraid of bees)
124. I took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® test about 5 years ago, and I was classified as INFP
125. We use Caller ID heavily. If we don't get a valid phone number that we know, we don't answer the phone. Screw you, telemarketers!
126. I hate needles. I dread blood tests and hate having to take ENG/NCV tests
127. I am very self conscious about the fact that I'm a bit "furry"
128. At 5' 3", I am the tallest member of my immediate family
129. I had braces in grade school, and still to this day have the permanent retainer on my bottom teeth
130. My carbonated beverage of choice is Caffeine-free Coca-Cola
131. I've never flown First Class
132. Secrets? Yep, got 'em. Nope. Not sharin'
133. I like finding and knowing the big picture of things
134. I feel nekkid if I'm not wearing my cell phone
135. If I would shave off my beard, I would look like a seal. (This has happened once.) It ain't coming off.
136. I just don't like fruit. Don't know why.
137. I'm not good at wearing clothes. I don't buy them myself, and rely on others to find stuff that looks right on me.
138. I enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning, usually first thing when I get to the office. Since I've been unemployed 15 months, I haven't had much coffee this past year.
139. If at all possible, I'd rather pay someone to do something inside my house that try to do it myself.
140. I've always said "I'm not a hardware guy" during my IT career. It applies to my domestic life as well (see #139).
141. Re: #139, #140, for some reason I love This Old House, Changing Rooms, Ground Force, and Trading Spaces
142. I have been told that I am not corrupt, but that I am corrupting.
143. I don't have a tattoo and don't understand the fascination with them.
144. My guilty obsession is tacos from Jack In The Box. There are no Jack In The Boxes anywhere near Chicago. I have been known to take Ziplock bags with me when I travel out west so that I could go to a Jack In The Box and buy a dozen or so tacos, put them in ziplock bags, and bring them back home with me. The new 99 cent tacos at Burger King just might hold me over until I can get out west again.
145. Favorite comedian - Eddie Izzard
146. My last name is not the same as my father's original last name - the entire family had changed their names - all differently - decades before I was born
147. I am not a "morning person"
148. I have actually been at a private party at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago (back in the 70's) for - of all groups - Women in Broadcasting. (The grotto pool was very cool indeed)

originally posted Thursday, August 29, 2002 1:17 PM in my blog My Mundane Mid-Life

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