Random Confessions: 25 Things

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S0 on FB there’s always these “lists” that are bouncing around.  Given I did one of them, I thought it’d be funny to go back and see how the answers changed and provide a little commentary.

1.) I was a German citizen for over 17 years.

Still true.  I was born in what was then West Germany just north of Frankfurt.  My father used to threaten he was going to report me to the German draft board if I kept making a nuisance of myself.


2.) I have finished three books.

Uh, yeah, this has changed just a little bit.  At the time there was the book that is The Vladivostok Thing on here, Returns and Cataclysms (where we first meet Will Colfax), and An Unproven Concept.  Think just maybe we’ve added a few things, no?


3.) Of the three, one was deleted by my sister / lost by a friend and two are in the process of being fixed.

Obviously also not true.  R & C will eventually become at least two books.  I mean, it’s still technically done, but there’s a lot of surgery to do there, plus I have to bridge from After the Scythe to where R&C begins.  Why yes, I to can hear Anita C. Young screaming “FINISH A BLOODY SERIES!”

4.) I am scared of snakes–and I’m not talking a little bit.

No really.  Not a fan of the legless lizard clan.


5.) I have been bitten by a brown recluse spider.

Still have the hole in my back, yes.


6.) When I was young I used to have a stuffed tiger that I took everywhere.

Seriously.  As in, when my sister and I went on a cross country trip with my Uncle Bruce and Aunt Delores, I was once inconsolable when I thought we’d left “Tiger” at a rest stop.  Mysteriously, Tiger showed up about the point we were about to turn around because I was staging a one child mutiny.

7.) At age three I was nearly killed by a drunk driver, with the only thing saving me being my knee catching the dashboard.

Ever want to know why I lack remorse on drunk driving?  This would be part of the reason.


8.) Around age seven I drove a truck through an apple tree, nearly hit a shed, then ran over a barbwire fence.

It’s not important how the truck got into drive or neutral.  What is important is that the only reason I am typing this for you today is I went full octopus on my mother when she ran down the hill and got the truck door open.  “You were so pitiful and scared that I just didn’t have it in me to get an arm free and beat your behind…” I believe is the exact quote.  Also note that I did all of this without the truck being left on.  Gravity, thou art a heartless wench.

9.) Two years later, I saw a tornado about a half mile away. As I was known to think every cloud was a tornado, no one believed me until after the neighbors told my parents it had taken out their shed.

“Well, I don’t care what you people do, I’m going to the basement.”  Note that this refrain was repeated at least one more time in my life.

10.) I am allergic to shell fish–and found out about the allergy the hard way.

Pro tip–when your child tells you he’s not going to get sick, he’s lying.  Trust your instincts, and make him stand on the side of the road another five minutes.  It’ll change your life…and prevent you having to clean the van.

11.) I had to take Chinese for a year in college.

What’s worse?  I tried to use it to woo a young lady from Taiwan at an all girls college.  Yeaaahhh, that wasn’t the plan I should have gone with… (to paraphrase a certain musical). All’s well that ends well.

12.) I have shaken a President’s hand.

Bill Clinton was holding my diploma in his other one.  Funny story–several years later, a classmate was my brother-in-law’s superior.  Said BIL never mentioned he was related to me.  Classmate is coming over for his farewell dinner, sees the 8.5 by 11 picture of me shaking President Clinton’s hand, and asks, “Why do you have a picture of JY on your mantle?!” 


13.) People have a crazy habit of giving me nicknames.

None of which I’m putting on this blog.  Nor will other individuals.  *displays delete button*


14.) For my 21st birthday unsavory individuals, aided and abetted by my classmates, ambushed me, covered me in shaving cream, and tied me to a laundry rack.  There are photos.

15.) I have lived outside of the United States for 3+ years of my life.

First nine months of my life in Germany, one year in Korea, then two years in Germany (the second time).


16.) Went to Hawaii twice. Wasn’t impressed.

Glad I crossed that off the bucket list on someone else’s dime.  Expensive, with atrocious traffic.  Pass!

17.) Sometimes when I travel bad things happen at the places I visit. You know, like floods, heat waves, etc.

True story.  It’s not as bad as it was, but there was serious discussion about taking me off the traveling team at work.

18.) I have been the manager for a women’s basketball team.

Army Women’s basketball, 1993-1994.  There are pictures.  Friends have put them on FB.


19.) I once crossed the New Jersey turnpike on foot.

Because everything’s legal in New Jersey.

20.) I watched the movie The Crow three times when it was in theaters–and only the first time was planned.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan of The Crow.  I wish they’d make a sequel.  (“But James, they made a…” “SILENCE!  Like Highlander, there are no sequels!”)

21.) Malt balls are a guilty pleasure.

Not Whoppers.  Malt balls.  I can live with Whoppers in a pinch, but I love malt balls.


22.) I used to have an overdeveloped competitive streak.

“How cute you say this in the past ten…”  “SILENCE! When I run into a brick wall trying to beat you in something, we can talk about how it’s still overdeveloped.”

23.) When I was young I thought my father was Japanese.

No really.  Convinced he was going to get in trouble for World War II and interned.  Whee bit of trouble placing things historically as a young lad.

24.) In my defense, the man was fluent and did nothing disabuse me of this notion.  That is, until one of my teachers commented on how brave he and my mom were as an interracial couple.

“I just think it’s really brave what you two are doing.  You know, being of different countries and all.”

“Still think it’s funny now, Jim?!”–Mama Shark

25.) I laugh inappropriately (i.e., when really mad or really upset).

“I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral…”<–Song lyric I nodded sympathetically to.  I blame my gallows humor.

Random Confession

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So, every so often I will reveal something about myself my readers may not otherwise know.  Today’s confession:  I like ABBA.  I mean, not like “Commander Lewis, OMG the only thing I have on Mars is disco!”-level, but I am an unabashed fan.

 

 

The better half, fellow author Anita C. Young surprised me with tickets to Mama Mia! for my birthday a few years back.  Somehow that was the first time I ever heard this song despite having the “Greatest Hits” album since the 1990s.  Ever since then, it’s been my favorite.

Having seen the play then the movie, I’m much more partial to the stage production. I’m not saying Meryl Streep doesn’t hit the the targets, but I think there’s was way too much “Oh look what we can do with all this scenery and background!” Meh. The energy just wasn’t there.

If pressed, however, I will admit that my favorite ABBA song of all time…

(“Wait, stop. You’re a military sci-fi author. Saying you have a favorite ABBA song hurts your street cred like Jay-Z saying he has his favorite llama.”

 

“Tell me what is more terrifying than having your entire fleet die before your eyes to ‘Dancing Queen?’ I mean, it’s not Minmei-level horror but it’s gotta be up there, right?”

“Shit. Nightmare fuel, man, nightmare fuel.”)

…is “The Winner Takes It All.” Yeah, if “Knowing Me, Knowing You” is the amicable divorce, “Winner Takes It All” is the “I’ve got the house, the kids, and the car…and I’m still taking a bath with the toaster as soon as he drives off with her”-parting. Just ugh. I’m not saying it’s the most gut punchy song of all time (that list will be coming later), but it’s a “Songs to Slit Yout Wrist By” staple.