25 Things About Greg (from Greg)

I was trolling through Facebook and found this post from Greg dated February 2009. Remember when everyone was listing 25 things about themselves? Well, here’s Greg’s list. Cheers.

1) I feel guilty when I spend time on FB; I feel guilty when I do not spend time on FB; please discuss.

2) Young children find me hilarious, but upon reaching the age of 7 or so they begin to see right through my shtick.

3) I love the moment of anticipation in a movie theater “when the lights go down” (Pauline Kael).

4) While snorkeling in the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef, the ship’s captain thought that it was hilarious to throw bread in the water next to me, which resulted in creatures large and varied swimming straight at my face and which lead to the realization that — yes — people on a boat can hear you when you scream through your snorkel.

5) While in search of a public restroom in Shanghai, I went into a convenience store where, after the clerk and I were unable to communicate in Mandarin-English, I attempted unsuccessfully to draw a bathroom on a pad of paper; luckily, the piece of paper remains undiscovered.

6) When watching sports, the phrase I repeat more than any other is, “Show. The. Game.”

7) When I was 9, an Ames, Iowa TV station promoted its prime time lineup with a commercial featuring video of me and some friends sledding with Orleans’s “Still the One” playing in the background.

8) In the early 1990s, a man called me at the newspaper from the police station and told me that he had been arrested and wanted to explain that he had committed the murder in question; two years later, I was called to testify at his murder trial after he pleaded “not guilty.”

9) When I was young, I used a tape recorder to record myself announcing imaginary sports games at which I was the star; luckily, these tapes remain undiscovered.

10) I was at the back of the press area at the 1992 Republican Convention when Pat Buchanan gave his “we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country” speech.

11) I played one year of JV baseball in high school during which it became clear that I could not hit, field, throw, or run and had an embarrassingly bad attitude.

12) The last column I wrote for The Rice Thresher included a passage within which I said that I wouldn’t change a thing about my four years at Rice, which was so egregiously false that I was embarrassed as soon as it was published.

13) I once attempted to send a fax to myself; I did not receive the fax in question, but I did manage to shut down the entire computer system at the huge law firm at which I worked.

14) I wish that I had slowed down after college and not been in such a rush to merge onto the highway.

15) When I grow up, I would love to be a fiction writer, a stand-up comedian, a poet, a renowned photographer, or a “veteran character actor.”

16) In high school, I dislocated my finger on a pipe in the ceiling during a particularly energetic rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands.”

17) I think that Woody Allen was right that 90% of life is just showing up; one of my life’s quests is to figure out the other 10%.

18) I think that good art can be found anywhere, including on television, and I will take a great TV series over a mediocre movie or novel.

19) Huge flags in the middle of nowhere (e.g., driving through West Texas) freak me out more than they should.

20) Buck; Genghis; Chakka; Kahnie Chung; Uncle Dweg; Grarg; Grisha; Inspector Country Club.

21) I once auditioned for a role on “America’s Most Wanted.”

22) Books are my warm blankets.

23) I am fortunate to have friends who make me feel like I have come home when we get back in touch regardless of the gap in between visits.

24) Until it was brought to my attention, I apparently had a habit of adopting the accent of the person with whom I was speaking; I now speak with my usual Iowa-Maryland-Houston-NYC-Austin-DC-Singapore accent.

25) When I am having trouble sleeping, I still sometimes imagine myself hitting the game-winning home run.

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