I don’t care about it being a new year, never have. My birthday is one of the few where everyone in the world celebrates it. I’m not famous (yet) but I happen to be one of the select few million people who are lucky enough to escape from the womb on January 1st.
This year marks my 35 years of pretending to enjoy living on this miserable little planet, so in honor of the time served, I’ve come up with a small list of useless accomplishments I’ve been lucky enough to bear while alive.
- I used to collect baseball cards and 45’s from garage sales. 45’s were vinyl plastic disks containing music singles. My favorite was Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” with the B side of “Don’t Try Suicide.” As for baseball cards, most of them (along with all the comic books and art I drew as a kid) burned up when my house burned down when I was 15.
- My mom and I would watch WWF wrestlers and laugh at George “The Animal” Steele chewing on a turnbuckle. I had “thumb wrestler” toys, which were latex figurines with a hole in the ass of each character you could put your thumb in and pretend to wrestle. I liked to fight with the cat.
- Steve Yzerman became the youngest center of any NHL team after being drafted 1st by the Red Wings. I had no idea what this meant at the time, but my mom was thrilled, and I liked watching hockey with her since she’d get into the Bob Probert fights.
- As a child, I read everything I could get my hands on. My mom brought home a large box filled with Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I read every one. A few years later, In kindergarten, my teacher would sit me in front of the class and let me read Encyclopedia Brown books to my classmates while they napped.
- I drew and painted my own comic books in grade school. The funniest ones would get “dittoed” which was an old copy machine that used this messy archaic purple ink to make images of the comics and I would pass them out to classmates.
- I learned how to program when I was five years old on a Tandy TRS-80 computer hooked up to an old 19″ Magnavox television I found in the garbage and fixed. The “Trash” 80 had a cassette deck for data backup instead of a disk drive and came preloaded with the “GW Basic” language interpreter. It was my first computer. My mom bought it at a second-hand store for $2.
- My first gaming system was the Odyssey 2. KC Munchkin (we called it Ghetto PacMan) was my favorite game, with a close second being Take the Money and Run. My brother upgraded to the Atari 2600, which he later gave to me.
- The first gaming console I purchased with my own money was a Sega Master System when I was 12 with Christmas tips from my paper route. My friend James still has this system today. I traded him his old original Nintendo GameBoy for it.
- My mom died when I was 14 after a five-year battle with cancer. My dad moved back to Tennessee after he had a stroke when I was 20.
- I dropped out of high school at 18 and started working since I could get jobs fixing computers making more money than fast-food places were paying. I went back in 2011 and finished high school for no other reason than to prove to myself I could do it.
- Before working at EDS, I had 30+ different jobs, the longest one being Meijers which I worked at during the Tickle-Me-Elmo Christmas craze. Since EDS, I’ve worked at GM for 15 years. In a strange coincidence, I’ve had 30+ different phone numbers in those 15 years.
- During my first marriage in 2000, I wrote, recorded and produced two full-length albums and sold them online on a website called MP3.com. This was five years before iPods were available, but in the hacking world, MP3’s were the format of choice. The unique thing is if you put one of the CD’s in a computer, there is a hidden folder with all the MP3’s available at 192 quality. I sold a total of 4 albums. To this day, I haven’t received my check for 18 cents.
- Ironically, the song “Pirate,” from the first album “Greatest Hits, Volume Three” was pirated and downloaded over 150,000 times from Audiograbber, which later turned into Napster. Yes, I did it myself.
- After a divorce and a remarriage, I started writing novels. Most of them suck. A handful are good enough to read and are online. Slowly, I’m going through and making new ones or polishing the older ones into something worth reading and posting them online as well.
I think that’s good for now. Let me know what you think!