I’m 48 today… and I still rock

Leadership

I’m 48 years old today. Apparently, I was conceived on New Years Eve 1965. I think that’s pretty cool. My parents were, and continue to be, pretty cool as well. So, with that, I’m blessed.

Life has been both what I expected and not even close to what I expected. I’ve lived a lot in the past 48 years. I certainly can’t complain that I’ve lived a boring life, even though it’s less than perfect in many (if not most) ways.

I was born in Chehalis, WA in 1966. I’ve lived in 37 different homes in my life, most of which by my own choice, either due to years in the service, or moving a lot as I grew up. I’ve lived in my current home for nearly one quarter of my life, so there is something to be said for consistency. Think about it… that means I lived in 36 different homes in the first 37 years of my life. Craziness.

I thought I was supposed to be a famous rock star. Didn’t happen. What did happen (at least what I can remember) is the following:

1) I have been hit by a car (license number KCT193) and remember it like it happened yesterday. September 1979.

2) I have had 2000lbs of sheetrock fall on me in our garage, as our neighbor needed a storage area for a remodel. I was pinned against the lawnmower, miraculously only breaking an ankle (which still folds out from under me to this day).

3) I rarely sleep. If I do sleep, I always seem to notice just prior to nodding off that the clock either says 12:34 or 8:58. Seriously. My entire life it’s been like this.

4) I have been playing drums since I was 4 years old, and have had 2 recording development deals. I’ve been fortunate enough to also play with some truly well known musicians, none of which I shall mention here, because they’d kill me or sue me.

5) I like to imagine I’m famous when walking into Safeway just to see if people notice “that certain something.” They do, because it works. You should try it.

6) I have fathered 10 children, 6 of which are still alive. The other 4 are resting in Heaven, waiting for me to come see them. I can’t wait to meet them.

7) I hate to be bothered in any way, shape, or form when eating. I don’t want to talk to you. I would prefer silence, and a book.

8) I hate talking on the phone. Strike that, LOATHE. …and I talk on the phone for a living.

9) In spite of #8 above, I absolutely love being in control of my own destiny…. at least as much as God lets me believe I am.

10) I once walked out on my job as a cook (as a 20 y/o) during peak dinner hours, leaving the restaurant manager by herself with 100+ people waiting. By herself. What a jerk.

11) I am a faithful friend, and will love you in spite of yourself, or myself.

12) I am a movie snob to the highest order, and have no interest in trying to explain “what just happened” to you. I’ll be over here waiting. That said, I do not like watching movies by myself. I want to talk about them afterwards. You try and explain “Magnolia” to someone who hasn’t seen it.

13) I have a true IQ of 147. More than enough to complete the snobbery of believing that I am somehow smarter than most of you, which we all know is NOT the case… Now, if only I could actually put these supposed smarts to work for me.

14) I can count to Ten in 5 languages: Spanish, Japanese, French, English, and Canadian.

15) I broke my arm, jumping out of a swing, when I was 8 years old. I walked over to the county pool to call my mother, who was told by the pool attendant that there had been an accident at the pool, involving her son. My mother thought I had drowned, and was upset I was still alive, standing at the counter with “only” a broken arm. Her anguish had been wasted.

16) I am not a sports guy, but I love Mountain Biking, and Racquetball. I’m only good at Biking. I suck at Racquetball. I do watch the Seahawks, though…. however, I admit I am a fly by night fan.

17) I know more trivia than anyone else I know, and have NEVER lost a game of Trivial Pursuit. That makes me boring, I know, but hey… now you know what to bet me on.

18) Much to my family’s chagrin, I would and could eat either Sushi, Chicken, or Pizza every day for the rest of my life.

19) If my family dies in a plane crash, I would move to Alaska and live alone in an unnamed valley. Granted, this is only in the case of a plane crash. If they died a different way, I’d move to Montana. What can I say… I like glaciers.

20) I have been to Canada more times than most Canadians.

21) My favorite geeky hobby is riding roller coasters. I’ve traveled all over the world, and ridden over 250 to date. It’s nothing compared to my friends in that particular obsession, as some of them have ridden over 500, and even 750 or 1000. Insane.

22) I love all types of music, and can only name 2 types that I’d rather not hear: Country and Rap….or CRAP as I like to point out constantly (like I’m somehow witty).

23) In 1994, I threw a brand new Gibson Les Paul guitar down a street in West Seattle on my birthday, promptly attempting to surf on it down the asphalt. That was 20 years ago today, in fact. I remember having a dream that night where I went to work and there were police cars waiting to arrest me. On Monday, when I went to work, the soundman at the rehearsal space told me that someone had destroyed a guitar and that I needed to go to the office for the investigation. When I stepped into the office, a record player skipped, and I was nabbed.

24) When I was in second grade, a friend’s dad offered me a ride home from school. Normally, I would take the bus, which meant I got home earlier than normal. Because I got home early (and my mother wasn’t home from the store yet), I walked into an empty house, which scared me silly. I left the home to walk to Dad’s work, about 8 miles away (I was 7, after all), but only got down the highway about a half mile, because I was afraid to walk under the power lines that crossed the highway…. that sound they make terrified me. Yes, power lines still give me that heeby jeeby feeling. Yes, I said Heeby Jeeby (and I have no idea how to spell it).

25) I once used the word “spiffy” to describe a band I was in, for a Seattle Times article on being an upcoming featured act. The word ended up in the article and, as you can imagine, my bandmates were none too pleased.

26) I was a latch key kid for a bit (weren’t we all?) and remember a time when I had to use the toilet so bad, but we didn’t have a great septic system (it was very rural where we lived), which meant that spiders and wood/sticks/mud would end up in the toilet bowl. Like the power lines down the highway, this scared the snot out of me, so I promptly pooped on the floor. Obviously, my parents were a tad upset with me.

27) When I went to Japan for the first time, in 1998, I was walking through Kansai International airport, and said out loud “I feel like I’m adopted, and I just met my birth parents.” This is truer for me now than ever. I feel like Japan is my home, and I miss it.

28) My children make me prouder than you can possibly imagine. Zachary, Kaiya, Tiana, Cadence, Leland, and Alexander…. thank you for being in my life… for existing. I am honored to be your father, and I love you more than time itself.

29) I adore, with complete passion, my wife Tomoko, even though she drives me more batty than any person in the history of this planet. She is my rock and my roll. She tells me I did become a famous rock star after all. I just can’t tell you why.

30) I believe in the power of sarcasm.