Sunday, January 07, 2007

Five Things...

Boy, there's a whole lot about these intranets that I just don't know. For example, blog memes or meme tags. This is kind of the blog equivalent of a chain letter, except nobody promises you riches if you tag 12 of your friends and doom if you don't. In this case, I was tagged by Lao Lu, who got tagged by Richard, who got tagged by China Law Blog, and before that, CLB can tell you if you want to know.

Anyway, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Me." Now, I have some issues with this. Some people who read this blog will know just about any 5 things that I'm willing to share, so I guess it's really "5 Things That Most Of You Didn't Know About Me And Why Should You Care?" But be that as it may...

1. My first attempt at a novel came when I was five years old at most. It was to be an ambitious epic about two cats who went camping. The problem was, I did not know how to spell "camping," and my mother was on the phone while I was trying to write the first chapter and wouldn't tell me. Thanks, Mom. I hope you realize the loss of this masterwork for the ages is on your head.

2. I manage to combine an obsessive/compulsive streak with a short attention span, meaning: I can focus on long, complicated projects on the one hand and get dreadfully bored with many things on the other. This might explain how I ended up with six minors, no major, enough units for a masters and no undergraduate degree (the minors, for the record, were: writing, visual arts, political science, German, Chinese Studies, and music literature. I think).

3. I turned 21 in Kunming, China, during a total eclipse of the sun. To be completely accurate, the eclipse was on the day after my birthday in China, but I figure in the place of my birth, San Diego, CA, it was a day earlier, and therefore my actual birthday. I sort of vaguely recall that a solar eclipse is supposed to mark the death of the old and the beginning of the new, a rebirth of sorts, and indicate major changes in one's life. While I'm disinclined to take such things too literally, being in China at that age completely changed the direction of my life, for good or for ill (I still haven't figured out which).

4. If you've read this blog from the beginning, you already know that I used to be the singer/songwriter/bassist of an LA-area band. We got some good reviews in the local music press, and pretty much no actual success. We did however play together for over ten years and have a really good time doing so. I'm still friends with those guys (hey, one of them is my sister) and spend nearly every Christmas Eve with the guitar player and his family and friends (and then there's drummer Todd's "Last Monday Before Christmas Musicians' Party, which I never miss either).

Way back at the beginning of my so-called music career (not counting the cover band I had in college), a guy who used to be one of the main engineers for Motown told me I had talent, but if I wanted to succeed, I needed to make some choices. In the immediate future, I needed to ditch the guitar player I was working with at the time or at the very least, not do any of his songs. The band needed to be about me, and I had to be the only lead singer. Both of those things ended up happening. He also gave me a football metaphor for life: "You can't make them throw you the football. But you can be ready to catch it if they do."

To this day, I don't know if they never threw me the ball or if I just dropped it.

Anyway, even if you knew I had a band, bet you didn't know that I'm left-handed, but I still play the bass right-handed. So there.

5. In the movie Undercover Brother, there's a karaoke scene where Eddie Griffin and Denise Richards sing "Ebony and Ivory." The backup vocals for the karaoke track were done by me and my friend Christy, who was music coordinator for the film and begged me to go with her to the studio and arrange and sing the backups. I don't know how well you can hear our efforts over Griffin and Richards (I never did see the movie), the results were pretty magnificantly cheesy on our end. The three of us, Christy, me and the producer/engineer, laughed our asses off after nearly every take. The downside: for weeks afterwards I had that stupid song embedded in my brain. All of the back-up vocals, the orchestration, the cheesy lyrics...I would wake up every night around 4 AM with "Together A-LLIVE!!!" echoing in my head. It wasn't pretty.

Now I have to pass the pain on to some other poor bloggin' slobs...Here it goes...

Zhadi, Redzilla, SusanUnPC, Real History Lisa.

Hey, if any of you guys don't wanna do this, I totally understand.

Just remember. Edgar P. Collingsworth broke the chain. Two weeks later, his business partner embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from their firm and ran off to the Cayman Islands with Mrs. Collingsworth, leaving Edgar alone, penniless and afflicted with a severe case of gout.

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