Accepting my WordPress Versatile Blogging Award requires sharing 7 things about myself most people aren’t aware of. So here goes:
1. I spent most of my childhood raised in a cult. It was the apocalyptic Worldwide Church of God (now defunct) that terrified me into thinking that God was mean and out to get me. When I was old enough to stay home alone, I refused to attend services anymore and was branded as a black sheep by the church. But I’m grateful I experienced all that as it forced me to find out for myself what I believe in instead of what others told me I should believe in. I remember exactly how I started my own personal spiritual journey years ago. I saw a quote in a magazine, ripped it out, stuck it on my laptop and my path began: “If you don’t trust your sources of information, how do you know you’re right when forming your beliefs?”
2. I talk a lot. I also gesture non stop with my hands when I talk. The more enthusiastic I am, the faster and more my hands move. It’s actually not possible for me to talk unless I’m moving my hands. Once, at a restaurant, a friend dared me to sit on my hands during our conversation. I thought I was going to explode. I. Could. Not. Talk. At. All. According to Forbes, great leaders talk with their hands. I’m just practicing great leadership!
3. It was 1999 and just like the Prince song, I was partying like it was 1999. I concluded the year by being arrested for a DWI. This is not something I’m proud of, but I’m glad it happened as it was a big wake up call I needed. The entire ordeal cost me over $15,000 in fines and higher insurance costs but I was grateful I didn’t hurt or kill anyone and the lessons learned were worth it. I changed who I was hanging around with and was saved from becoming an alcoholic. Everyone always asks me, so I’ll just answer it now: Yes, I was handcuffed during the arrest. And no, I definitely was not talking then.
4. Everybody knows of my horse obsession but I can’t adequately explain why it exists. I think it’s just encoded in my DNA. And the universe made it obvious: I was born during a Chinese Year of the Horse in NJ, which claims the horse as its state animal. My high school mascot was a horse. I got my first horse in another Year of the Horse and was accepted to create the Quarter Horse sculpture for the Trail of Painted Ponies during yet another Year of the Horse. And virtually everyday as a kid on the school bus, and then later after graduating and working, I’d stare as I passed by a local restaurant – it was my favorite because they had a life sized horse statue in their front parking lot. I always wanted to
take it home.
5. One of the most surreal experiences in my life happened in a movie theater. It wasn’t art imitating life or vice versa. It was both at the same time. Some friends took me to a movie to help distract me when I learned I wasn’t going to marry the guy that I and everyone else assumed I would. I wanted to see a certain comedy because the local paper made a big fuss that my favorite restaurant with the horse in front was actually used for a scene location! How cool was that? What I didn’t expect was the mind bending parallel universe feeling of watching on screen exactly what I was going through at exactly that time in my life. When the audience laughed during the scene inside my horsey restaurant with a wedding dress clad Joan Cusack bemoaning “I’m too stupid to live” and then running outside screaming “Is everybody gay? Is this a Twilight Zone?” it was all I could do to keep myself from screaming “It’s NOT funny when it’s really happening to you!” Talk about a Twilight Zone. If you never saw In & Out with Kevin Kline, it’s worth renting, it has some very funny moments and Joan did a stellar job playing me.
6. I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies dozens of times. OK, the truth is I mostly only fast forward to certain scenes, just to hear Alan Rickman’s voice as Professor Snape. At first I thought I was odd to be obsessed over the sound of a voice, but it turns out I’m not alone. It was even scientifically proven with a mathematical formula that Alan Rickman has a perfect voice. I find it strange he hasn’t narrated audio books and while there are imitation Alan Rickman voice impressions for GPS units, they don’t make the cut. I also heard he’s happily been with the same woman for decades. I wonder if she doesn’t talk a lot just so she can listen to his voice more.
7. I didn’t know the full story behind Lady Godiva until I did some research and then she instantly became my personal hero. She believed people needed to have more leisure time to spend on activities such as the arts but everybody was too busy working so hard to pay all the king’s excessive taxes. He was her husband and when she said something to him, he dared her to ride naked on her horse in exchange for him cutting out some taxes. I bet he didn’t think she’d do it. But she did, the king kept his word and all the townspeople loved her. And a little known fact: Her horse’s name was Aethenoth, which means “noble audacity”.
Noble audacity. Now that’s a trait I’d like to be known for.
I’d like to thank the very cool writer Tom Lucas for nominating me for the Versatile Blogging Award and congratulate him on publishing his first book! You rock! The award also involves awarding others so I’m passing the torch on to these fine folks:
The Award rules are:
Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
Announce your win with a post. Make sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers.
Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post.
Post 7 interesting things about yourself.
Have fun and carry on!