First off, congratulations are in order: UALBANY BASKETBALL WINS AMERICA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP AND EARNS FIRST NCAA BERTH. In its seventh season in Division I, my graduate school alma mater is going to be a part of March Madness. CBS had their “Selection Show” on last night. Usually, I don’t bother viewing it, but I wanted to actually see the university in my city on the board. UAlbany is a #16 seed against a #1 seed, Connecticut, playing in Philadelphia Friday night. At least, they weren’t stuck in the play-in game in Dayton on Tuesday. One assumes the Danes will have no chance against the Big East regular season champion Huskies, but I’ll be watching anyway.
I stole this from somebody. I think the original piece was 10 Interesting Things About Me, but I’m much too self-effacing for that. And I couldn’t stop at 10:
1. My earliest recollection is being three years old in a plastic pumpkin at the Catskill Game Farm in upstate New York.
2. When I was three, I fell down a flight of stairs between my grandparents’ apartment and ours. There’s some kind of bump in the area below my lower lip and above my chin to this day. As a result, I cannot grow facial hair there.
3. When I was five and a half, I had a nasty nosebleed that my parents could not stop. I ended up in the hospital, and even my 66-month-old self’s preconceived notions were blown away when I found that I had a female doctor. I think I also had a male nurse, although that may have been an orderly. But definitely a female doctor.
4. The only vegetables I would eat as a child were corn, peas, beans (reluctantly) and spinach. The latter was clearly the influence of Popeye the Sailor man.
5. As a small child, I ate peanut butter incessantly. I must have ODed on it, because now even the smell of peanut butter makes me slightly nauseous.
6. One time, in kindergarten, I woke up from a nap at 11:45, and everyone had gone to lunch, including the teacher. It was very disorienting.
7. In second grade, there were four couples who danced to the “Minuet in G.” About a year later, I accidentally pelted my dance partner with an ice ball.
8. I was a Cub Scout for about a year. I took piano lessons for about the same length of time. I quit both because I was not very good at mechanical stuff. I once took the lock off our front door, because I was curious how it worked, but was unable to put it back together. In 7th grade shop, I blew up three or four pieces trying to make an ashtray. I couldn’t tie my shoes until I was nine or ride a bicycle until I was 13.
9. I was also lousy at gym. Classic right fielder. Could never climb the rope.
10. But I was a pretty good bowler. My mom bowled. I joined a league for a couple years. I once bowled a 186 when I was 10, still my fourth highest score.
11. I was pretty good academically. Through 11th grade, I never got less than a 90 on a math final – 97 in algebra, 98 in trig- except for the 86 I got in geometry, and only because I thought it was stupid to memorize proofs. I tried to just bluff my answer, but the test contained the very first proof in the book, I used tools that came later in the semester, I lost 6 points on that one 10-point question. I spelled well, and I was good in what they used to call social studies.
12. The scariest part of “The Wizard of Oz” for me were those talking trees. There was this gnarled tree outside of my bedroom when I was a kid, and I always thought it might attack.
13. Binghamton was/is a cloudy city, and car drivers were always leaving their lights on. I made it a point as a kid to turn them off. One day, when I was in high school, I turned off 22 sets of lights on my way home, no exaggeration. These days, the lights usually are turned off automatically, AND the car is usually locked. In fact, the last time I tried to do that, I was 24, living in Queens, and someone thought I was trying to steal his car.
(I really should go see that movie.)