The Shapiro Files

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Things

There has recently been a flutter of activity among my Facebook friends around a meme entitled “25 Things.” The object of this particular meme is very simple: List 25 things about yourself that people may not necessarily know and tag other Facebook friends to do the same.

I very rarely participate in these types of things, but heck, I’m always looking for fun blog topics. So I figured I can post my list here and then share the link with those who’ve tagged me. And if anyone feels compelled to do the same on their blog with a link back to me, even better!

So without further ado, here we go:
  1. I can’t stand raisins. Just the thought of them gives me the heebie-jeebies. And yet, I like grapes. Grape juice too. But raisins are pure evil.

  2. One of my more recent obsessions (about 2 years now) is Sudoku. I love that it’s a game of pure logic. It’s all about finding the one “inevitable possibility” — something that’s a perfect fit for how I process the world around me.

  3. I’ve watched all but one film in the AFI Top 100. The one outstanding title is The African Queen because it’s not available on DVD.

  4. My favorite author is John Barth. Lost in the Funhouse is a masterpiece. So are Chimera, Giles Goat-Boy, and Letters.

  5. My favorite dessert is anything with chocolate. But when it comes to ice cream (and only ice cream), I actually prefer vanilla.

  6. I’ve lost count of all the weddings at which I’ve played piano or keyboard.

  7. In high school, I used to love drawing cartoon monsters and giving them away to friends.

  8. I once served as Editor in Chief of Pacific Review, a San Diego-based literary magazine. The highlight of my time in the role was when highly esteemed postmodern author Raymond Federman sent me an angry letter (replete with profanity) asking what happened to his stories. It all worked out fine in the end (it was just a funding delay) and he even signed my copy of the issue in which I published his fine contributions.

  9. My favorite paper I wrote in graduate school was a 20+ page New Historical critical analysis of the television program I Love Lucy.

  10. I worked my way through college and remained employed with the same on-campus organization all throughout my undergraduate and graduate years. But sometimes that wasn’t enough to make ends meet. One second job I took was working weekends as a costume character, Sunny the Seal, for Sunny 103.7 FM in San Diego. I also did a stint at Eagle 105.3 KCBQ (now defunct) working promotions. This included driving vintage 1950s Ford Mustangs to the Earthquake Cafe (now closed) where they used to do live broadcasts Saturday nights.

  11. As if going to school full time and holding multiple jobs wasn’t enough during my college years, I also found time to participate in the SDSU Concert Choir, SDSU Chamber Singers, the San Diego Master Chorale, San Diego Theater Sports, and a 1950s classic rock and roll band called The Silvertones. I even played piano (plus occasional guitar) and did rhythm section arrangements for a group called The Great Day. They even let take the virtual podium as conductor a couple times. Very nice people.

  12. Of all the places I’ve done theater, my favorite was Boston. The actors, musicians, directors, producers, and tech crews were so genuinely kind and wonderful to work with. West Coast readers, please don’t dispair: I’ve also worked with some very lovely people in all the other places I’ve done theater too. I’m lucky that way.

  13. My favorite season: Autumn.

  14. My favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. Passover runs a close second.

  15. I collected Dynamite Magazine as a kid, but had a hard time getting my hands on issues 1-10 (#1 was truly impossible). As an adult, I got lucky on Ebay and managed to secure the first 20 issues of the magazine (#1 included). By that point, I was about 25 years beyond being interested in the actual content of the magazines. It was purely the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

  16. I’ve never understood the appeal of the band R.E.M.

  17. As a M.A. in English and life-long avid reader, I used to consider myself fairly well-read. But I recently perused the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list and discovered I’ve only read 18 of the books on their “Board’s List.” Even on their more commercial-leaning “Reader’s List,” I’ve only read 24 of the titles. Ouch. I think I have a whole lot more reading to do.

  18. I’m a Beatles freak and have been accused of being a walking encyclopedia of useless Beatles trivia.

  19. I’m the only person I know who has a bread maker and actually uses it. Regularly. For 15+ years and running.

  20. The first professional synthesizer I ever owned was a Moog Opus 3. Bulky, heavy, and very retro-cool. But pretty limited usage-wise.

  21. My first theatrical performance (at least, that I can remember), was as a Native American for a 1976 Bicentennial celebration play at our local park. I only had one task: follow a bunch of similarly attired children out of one door, run the course of a small semi-circle, and enter another door. I missed my cue and ended up trailing the other children by a very noticeable margin. The result was my first onstage laugh.

  22. I had numerous obsessions as a child. Just some of these included coloring books, board games, puppets, and Star Wars action figures and playsets (Degobah was my favorite).

  23. I studied Samuel Beckett as an undergraduate and genuinely enjoyed it.

  24. I produced a song/sound collage and video, both called 2+2, as a final project for an upper-division college course in Postmodernism. In graduate school, I recorded a sequel for a class in Avant Pop taught by the same professor. The name of the sequel? You guessed it: 2+2+2.

  25. I prefer social interactions where all participants are seated. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation while standing.


  • Wow Steve! I found your list very interesting, and really got to know you better!

    Thanks for doing this! Please give my love to Marcie and the little ones!

    By Blogger Bradley's Mom, at 2/03/2009 1:29 PM  

  • Aunt Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your very kind comments! Hope you're well!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 2/03/2009 2:44 PM  

  • I can't believe you have seen all those movies...I have seen most of them...but not 99 of 100! :)

    A costume seal! lol I love it!

    I am an REM fan and can understand the Beatle mania also! :)

    Great list...

    The Egel Nest

    By Blogger The Egel Nest, at 2/03/2009 3:01 PM  

  • Brad, thanks for your comments. I'm hoping that I'll be able to say I've seen all 100 movies by the end of the month, as TCM's website says they'll be airing African Queen in a little over a week from now!

    I can tell you some strange stories about my costume seal days. It was actually a pretty awful job.

    As for REM, many people's whose opinions I respect (such as yours) really like them. So I can't knock the band. I just can't find anything in their music that does anything for me. Go figure!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 2/13/2009 2:38 PM  

  • I think i still have one of those monsters somewhere, a purple one if memory serves me right! Must be in a box at my mom's house...

    I think you might need to keep your list more secret. It makes the rest of us feel like a bunch of lazy slackers....:) very interesting. and while i do like REM, they really are not in the same league as the Beatles.

    By Blogger Jane, at 2/23/2009 10:55 AM  

  • Jane,

    Thanks for stopping by! That's so cool to think that one of my cartoon monsters is still floating out there somewhere.

    Speaking of which, I guess my interest in cartoon monsters go back even further than I remembered. A friend from 3rd grade who recently found me on Facebook, commented on this meme on the FB "notes" feed and said she remembered my drawing monsters back then too.

    So I guess I've always had an affection for monsters and still do. Amazingly enough, my youngest daughter Julianne has taken up a similarly avid interest in monsters. Any time we watch a cartoon or read a book with a monster, she can't get enough of it. I never knew such an interest in funny creatures was genetic!

    By Blogger Steve Shapiro, at 2/23/2009 11:18 AM  

  • Regarding your grad school paper on "I Love Lucy", in college I wrote a paper on "Gender Roles in Star Trek", for which I needed to do absolutely no research because I knew the source material so well already. I referenced dozens of episodes and even behind-the-scenes information like how the Star Trek creator originally wanted a woman as second in command, but Paramount would not allow this. I got an A.

    By Anonymous David Scott, at 5/17/2009 4:02 PM  

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