25 ways @arubyan nags my inner geek to come out and play
By: Mark W Adams

When you get a message via G-Mail from someone on his CrackBerry leaving a message on Facebook that you need to take 15 minutes away from Twitter and tell the world stuff they don't know about you when you already did that on someone else's blog back in December, it's time pay homage to the gods of Web 2.0.

When I saw LisaRenee used to be a lead singer and guitar player in a band, I had to let her know that I was too in a former life. (That's #1). Next time we get together for a bloggers conference I'll be sure to bring my axe.

Roaching my voice at a sock hop (honest, it was 1977) singing KISS's God of Thunder, my mom's boyfriend suggested private voice lessons (#2) with someone he knew, a guy who happened to be the musical director of the Youngstown Playhouse. He talked me into auditioning for the roll of Fyedka in Fiddler on the Roof and I caught the bug and ended up doing musical theater non-stop for three more years (#3).

I went to Ohio University because they sent me a $500 scholarship just on my ACT scores, accepting me without my even applying or ever sending them a transcript.(#4) But the main reason I went is because they had the best performing arts program in Ohio -- but instead of becoming a theater major I changed my mind on the day we signed up for classes and entered a pre-law program just to see if I could do it, and they kept passing me. (#5)

I met F.Lee Baily when I was eight years old, watching a murder trial through the crack in the door from the judges chambers my Grandmother worked for, so I guess the law was in my blood before the acting/singing thing.(#6) Mom's boyfriend was also a lawyer.

My last gig was when I MC'd karaoke on the weekends for about three years at our bar, and usually would bring the guitar and perform a few songs each night until about two years ago when the fad kinda died out round these parts. (That's 7). That and I got sick to death of hosting the world's worst drunken singers and pretending to be in awe of their "talent."

Knees actually do quake when you get nervous. I know that because it happened to me when giving a speech (#8). After years of performing before live audiences, the prospect of speaking my own words in public overcame my usual confidence and I felt tremors in my legs -- which of course makes you concentrate on your body more than what you are saying in a terrifying feedback loop.

I signed up for a second major in my senior year in college as a form of therapy, interpersonal communication (speech) (#9) and joined the Speech and Debate Team where I once "won" a contest for "Bad Oralization" by coming in 6th place (the best of the bad/worst of the good, whatever) of those who got trophies (#10).

I also competed in impromptu, extemporaneous, and prose where I reworked a Robin Williams routine you old folks might remember called A Meltdowner's Nightmare which was a Shakespearian homage to Three-Mile Island, then switched to a piece I adapted from Douglas Adams' Restaraunt At The End Of The Universe playing eight different parts in 5 minutes (#11).

My favorite was the poetry resitation venue where I found the key to avoiding the sing-songy rhyme schemes it's almost impossible to avoid is to recite a poem translated from another language. I used a French poem by Antonin Artaud called All Writing Is Garbage, which always raised eyebrows on the English majors who acted as judges on these things. Having conquered my fear of public speaking I decided not to compete at Nationals despite qualifying for six events. Our coach never spoke to me again (#12). I actually found a copy on the web here, half-way down the page at 4.3 -- an English translation on a German web site -- weird.

All writing is garbage.

People who come out of nowhere to try to put into words any part of what goes on in their minds are pigs.

The whole literary scene is a pigpen, especially today.

All those who have points of reference in their minds, I mean on a certain side of their heads, in well-localized areas of their brains, all those who are masters of their language, all those for whom words have meanings, all those for whom there exist higher levels of the soul and currents of thought, those who represent the spirit of the times, and who have named these currents of thought. I am thinking of their meticulous industry and that mechanical creaking which their minds give off in all directions,

– are pigs.

Envision a particularly angry recitation, sans the outrageous French accent.

I flunked typing in high school, the only class I ever failed. By the end of law school I was at about 80 words a minute, which is why I never could afford a secretary who could do anything more efficiently than I could do it myself (#13). That fact made me an early adopter of apple computers which helped me automate my private practice as much as possible -- yes I owned an Apple IIe and have been upgrading since 1983 (#14).

I pledged the Jewish fraternity AEPi even though I'm not Jewish. I decided not to join after a brief moonlit encounter with a delightful girl who never told me (honest) that she sas dating the vice-president of the frat. (#15). I got blackballed from another after I opined that their silly rituals were a bit lame. I got invited back the next year, and actually lived there for a while, but never actually joined because, well ... their silly rituals were lame (#16). In law school I did join and became an officer of a professional fraternity -- whose silly rituals were likewise lame but I kept that factoid to myself (#17).

I have a passport I never used (#18). I've been to every major city in every State east of the Mississippi except Alabama and Louisiana (#19).

I was a member of the Student Senate in law school (#20). I was also a Secretary General of the Cleveland National Model United Nations Conference as well as the assistant executive director of the non-profit corporation that ran it. The SecGen gig was a payoff for doing all the grunt work all year with none of the glory as well as getting fundings out of the Student Senate to pay for the thing (#21).

I told you that one to tell you this one. I met my wife at a wedding, the wedding of my boss the executive director in #21 (that's #22). Even though I already told @arubyan, maybe he didn't pass it on to Miss Julie. I went for three days after spending the 1st night with my (soon to be) wife not remembering her name (#23).

The bride and groom were on their honeymoon and no one else who knew me from the wedding saw who I left with -- yes I even called the groom's parents. She left me her number, but no name -- even though I gave her an entire Model UN pamphlet that had my number on it since I was the contact guy for the thing. I finally got a message from my roommate that "some girl" called who left her name -- but no number. I put 2 and 2 together and took my chances, calling the number I had and asking for the name "some girl" had left. That was the first time I heard my (soon to be) step son's voice, who shouted, "Mom!" It was also the first time I took a breath in those three days (#24).

There's a lot more to that story that's fun involving her misplaced car and my rush to get to a Browns game the day after we met, how hung-over we both were and the fact that she still won't let me forget calling her a "Ditz" because she couldn't remember where she parked the night before (#25 - you get no more outta me).


Unknown said...

You tried to resist for as long as yo could...and you did a nice job.


Anonymous said...

Now that's nice... very good