100 Things About Me (October 2003)

  1. I cannot walk in high-heeled shoes properly. The last time I did, I thought my feet were going to have to be amputated at the end of the evening.
  2. Current favorite beer: Bridgeport India Pale Ale
  3. Current favorite wine: Rosemount Estates Pinot Noir
  4. Current favorite spirit: Bailey’s Irish Cream
  5. I am currently housesitting for my friends Ann and Scootter. Therefore, for the next three weeks, I have a dog. She is a boxer and her name is Radley. I love the name so much I might name my first daughter that, but she will never know it came from my best friends’ dog. Unless I’m mad.
  6. Ann and Scootter call people they like by both their first and last names, and fortunately or unfortunately, I have picked up the habit. If I don’t call you by both your first and last names, though, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It just means I like other people than you MORE.
  7. I do not like white wine, and I get migraine headaches from red. But does that stop me from ALWAYS picking red? NOOOOOOOOO.
  8. I am married- but not emotionally… and divorced… but not legally. It’s very complicated. In short, no matter how much you love someone, do not fall for that old “let’s get a civil union certificate in Vermont” line.
  9. I am a native Texan, but currently I reside in Oregon.
  10. I have dated three women seriously… and two boys.
  11. I met my current girlfriend through Friendster, and it has caused no amount of grief among my friends.
  12. Especially when we moved in together after a month. Well, technically I’m just staying with her until I find a new apartment/house, but it was worth saying that just to give my parents a heart attack. 😉
  13. I sing in an all-women’s chorus called Belle Voci. It means “beautiful voices” in Italian. Some days, I’m not so sure.
  14. My father’s family is from Ireland, and there’s a fairly interesting story behind it. Apparently, our family is not related to anyone else with the last name of Lanagan in America because my great great great great great grandfather was the captain of a ship during Ireland’s cholera epidemic. Therefore, he was out to sea when it hit and our clan survived.
  15. I am active in my church, Bridgeport United Church of Christ. I sing in the choir and I teach senior high Sunday School. If that doesn’t get me extra brownie points in heaven, I don’t know what will.
  16. My father is the clinical coordinator for Angela McCain, M.D. Incidentally, Angela McCain, M.D. is my stepmother.
  17. My mother is an elementary school teacher in a neighborhood so horrible that the teachers in the accompanying junior high and high school receive hazard pay. Her husband, my stepfather, is the Chief Financial Officer for the Port of Houston.
  18. Once, on a job application in high school, I was asked this: “Give an example of extraordinary customer service.” I replied that one time a blind man had come into the Eckerds in which I was working and needed a greeting card for his daughter. So I read him an entire aisle’s worth of cards until he found just the right one. It didn’t happen to me. But it was a damn good story, a tearjerker even, so I wrote it anyway.
  19. By now you’ve probably learned that for me, morality is a sliding scale. This happens to a lot of writers. I hope it doesn’t get in the way of our friendship.
  20. I hope that clears up before I start seminary. I want to be a minister when I grow up.
  21. The best book I’ve read this year is The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel. I wish I could explain it to you, but I like very complicated stories and I only have so much room…
  22. I also like John Grisham novels, however, as I believe that they are the literary equivalent of crack.
  23. The man who sat next to me when I was volunteering at Oregon Public Broadcasting thought it was HYSTERICAL that I wanted to be a minister. I’m trying to decide if he thought that because I was sitting next to Jenn and clearly indicating that she was my girlfriend, or if he just knows me entirely too well for sitting next to me in that short of a time period.
  24. I am horrible with e-mail. I try to keep on top of it as best I can, but I get so many a day that I think my brain is going to explode. So if I haven’t e-mailed you lately, don’t give up hope. One day I WILL wade through it all.
  25. When I was in grade school, I was such a dork. I had braces and a headgear and I wore glasses. But just look at me now, baby!
  26. I have met most of the really great trumpet players: Maynard Ferguson, Marvin Stamm, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Barry Lee Hall, Jon Faddis, Dennis Dotson, Lew Soloff, etc. The story about meeting Jon Faddis is the funniest, because when I went to meet him I was absolutely punch drunk on the experience. I had just met Lew Soloff, the lead trumpet player for Blood, Sweat, and Tears, who thought that if I knew who he was then I must be a trumpet player myself (well, kinda…). He told me about an audition in New York for the Manhattan School of Music, which I took down for a friend. So after that, I was on cloud nine. I went to Faddis’s bus and told the guys already on board that I was a big, big fan and I wanted an autograph. Total MISTAKE. The guys started ragging on Faddis like, well… like junior high band geeks, frankly. So I finally get my autograph and my few minutes in the “FADDISPHERE” and I just about walked away on air.
  27. I WATCHED CANADA SHUT OUT CHINA IN THE 2003 WORLD CUP, AND I WILL NEVER, EVER FORGET IT! Miracles do happen, and I was there for one of them.
  28. I have managed to turn my girlfriend, Jenn’s, attic into usable space, but only because I have a futon and an electric blanket that can be turned up to HELL.
  29. My favorite blogger in the whole wide world is Heather Armstrong of dooce.com.
  30. My butt is starting to hurt, and I still have 70 more to go.
  31. I was born in Tyler, Texas at a hospital that has a statue of Jesus looking like he is directing traffic.
  32. I am still in touch with my first love.
  33. I have always been a voracious reader, and I would rather read than do almost anything else.
  34. Currently I am rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and reading David Sedaris’ Naked for the first time.
  35. My grandfather died when I was in junior high, and I played Amazing Grace on my trumpet at the funeral.
  36. What is really weird is that although the only people I’ve dated seriously have been my age, I don’t normally have friends that are the same age as me… but I do not discriminate. That’s just been a force of nature.
  37. I am three years older than my mentor was when I met her, therefore I regret just a little bit not getting to “catch up” to her because she’s a different person now. We would have been great bad girls together.
  38. I am starting a writing class on Sunday regarding spirituality. Our first assignment is writing about something that’s a curse as if it’s actually a blessing. So far, I’ve got nothin’.
  39. For some reason, actresses do not appeal to me. Perhaps it’s because I prefer really down-to-earth, crunchy granola girls, or perhaps my crushes are on actors because I’d rather be them than be with them.
  40. I’ve had four Diet Cokes today. It’s a sickness.
  41. I have now been to Seattle, and while I was there, I ate at the restaurant in which the tiramisu scene is filmed. Or at least, I think it’s the tiramisu scene. There’s a big picture of Tom Hanks in the front window.
  42. For the first time in my life, I am dating someone who is ALSO a first child… but we’re still very, very different.
  43. My favorite recording artists (in no particular order): Eminem, They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, Live, Panic in Detroit, Koufax, Indigo Girls, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Staind, Tenacious D, and Weird Al Yankovic.
  44. Favorite character in the Potterverse: Arthur Weasely. His fascination with the Muggle world is endlessly entertaining, particularly in the fifth book.
  45. Though I’ve only seen him once on Comedy Central, my favorite comedian is Stephen Lynch. He does this great show with beautiful music where the lyrics are all twisted, such as, “Had to see you one more time, there’s somethin’ on my mind… How about bitch, gimme my money…. Gimme my money and I want it fast…
  46. No, of course I’m not bitter. Why do you ask?
  47. I have never cheated on anybody, but I do, much like Jimmy Carter, lust in my heart.
  48. However, having been cheated ON does not make me a martyr. For long. Two months tops. Okay, four, but that’s my final offer.
  49. My favorite driving experience was loading up Kathleen and Lindsay and going to Manhattan. I drove the entire time, and I wasn’t scared once. It’s a new record for me. In fact, it was especially cool cruising down West Side Highway and looking out over the water.
  50. My two best friends in the whole wide world have the same name… Sorry if it’s not you.
  51. I’ve really begun to feel the responsibility that is involved with the term “faith community.”
  52. I often have ideas that do not stick with me, so when they do, I know that they’re worth pursuing. Right now my dream is to retire in Greenwich Village. Therefore, somebody better tell both Simon AND Schuster that I’m alive.
  53. I wrote in my last 100 Things that my friend Giles is getting his Master’s degree at University of Montreal and I was wrong. He’s at McGill. In Canada, that’s like saying, “he’s at Harvard.”
  54. My standards are bendable. If I truly hate a movie and all my friends want to watch it, I’ll go ahead and give in for the greater good. Though I think it’s prudent to think of a way my friends can pay me back for all the crappy movies I’ve sat through.
  55. At ExxonMobil I had a 21-inch monitor and an Aeron chair. It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
  56. The reason my hair isn’t red anymore is that it costs money for hair dye and I’d rather spend that money on other things. But the hair will be red again when I have copious amounts of disposable income.
  57. My favorite DC memory is standing on the roof of Molly’s apartment building watching the fireworks over the Potomac… and the ones in Virginia and Maryland in the distance.
  58. Even though I am 26 years old, when I hear a song that was played a lot during my senior year in high school, I forget that I’ve aged at all. I particularly enjoy Back for Good by Take That, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something, and Santa Monica by Everclear.
  59. I have daydreams of the lovers/friends/acquaintances I’ve lost over the years that will suddenly flock to me when I sell my first novel, short story, and or New Yorker article.
  60. There is a cry that comes from deep within me that I know is the sound of true sorrow. Fortunately, I’ve only cried that cry three times: when my parents broke up, when my first love left for college, and when my first wife told me that we should get a divorce.
  61. It’s been over a year, and I still can’t believe that I now have to say first wife. Because I still believe in marriage. It will just take a lot longer for me to enter into it.
  62. My church is throwing a Halloween party on the 25th of October, and they have asked me to be Dr. Frankenstein. Perhaps because I have nice knockers?
  63. Meagan was the first person to whom I ever wrote a REAL love letter, and when I gave it to her, I learned just how much time could slow down while people were reading.
  64. My friend Chason says that I have a bigger smile than anyone he knows, and I really can’t dispute it.
  65. My AOL Instant Messenger Buddy List has 42 people on it. My screen name is Leslian.
  66. I was so premature when I was born that my six month old pictures look like the day I came home from the hospital.
  67. I have a long scar on my chin because I busted it open three or four times and had to have stitches. I think each time was due to the concrete steps at my nursery school.
  68. Speaking of injuries, I once had to be rushed to the doctor because I had watched my dad put in his contacts and then at school stuck a red sequin in my eye.
  69. I’m not terribly fond of the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays.
  70. My biggest pet peeve is when something doesn’t go with my outfit. Like if I’m wearing a brown shirt and I don’t have brown shoes, or I’m wearing a belt that has a gold buckle and I can only find my silver earrings. Being ADD means that I’ve just learned to deal with it because I never remember to put things back where I found them… mostly because I don’t REMEMBER where I found them.
  71. I love the heaviness of a good fountain pen, and the absolute dazzling quality of a good purple or deep red ink.
  72. Radley just farted under my desk.
  73. I have a membership to SuicideGirls. It was a birthday present that I did not ask for, but well loved nonetheless.
  74. The thing I love and hate about being in long term relationships is that if they end and you move on, there are still really intimate details that you don’t need to know anymore that stay with you.
  75. The entire time I’ve been writing this, little ants have been crawling around on my desk. Ew.
  76. I’ve probably had 400 ideas about what to write on this list, but haven’t put them all down because I can’t think of a way to phrase them correctly. I am SUCH a writer.
  77. My girlfriend has gotten to meet David Sedaris, and I am so jealous that I could spit nails. But not at her. Directly.
  78. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, I think about the piece I’ll write that will get me on Oprah. I don’t know why I like Oprah so much, but ever since she played Sofia in The Color Purple I’ve followed her career both as an actress and talk show host. I didn’t much care for Beloved, but I thought The Women of Brewster Place was great. I apologize if my admiration for all things Oprah makes me sound more like a Midwestern housewife than a crunchy granola Portland lesbian, but that’s just the way it is.
  79. My hair is terrible in the mornings. Scootter calls it HAIR NOT FOUND IN NATURE.
  80. There are only three commands that I would like to teach my dog if I ever have another one of my own: 1) Sit. 2) Lay down. 3) Bring Mama a Diet Coke.
  81. I’ve only smoked pot once, and I will (probably) never do it again. The reason why is because Matt was using a broken lighter and set my fingernails on fire. If that isn’t enough of a deterrent, I don’t know what is. You might think that one cannot set one’s fingernails on fire, and you would be wrong, grasshopper. If there is plenty of acrylic on the tips, it lights most magnificently.
  82. But I will sit in the backyard and smoke cloves with you if you bring me one, INSERT NAME HERE AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE(S).
  83. I thought Spirited Away was the most fucked up movie I’d ever seen in my life and I can’t believe they show it to small children VOLUNTARILY.
  84. I never knew true natural beauty until I went to the Columbia River Gorge for the first time.
  85. Some of my best Portland memories so far are about being in a kitchen with lots of women and making soup… I’ll probably write about it- Divine Secrets of the Church Lady Sisterhood.
  86. I’m not afraid to disagree with people as much as I used to be. My girlfriend can attest to that.
  87. I am not the guy that you want implementing or wrapping up your project. But I am definitely the guy you want comin’ up with the ideas.
  88. Listening to my friend talk to her father after the Cubs lost the NLCS championships made me incredibly homesick, not only because it made me miss my own dad, but because she and her dad have roughly the same accent as we do.
  89. I opened a tampon just to see what was inside the little plastic thing. What do you mean, why? It wasn’t that exciting, so let me save you a tampon. It’s cotton. It’s string. No big whoop. I thought it was somehow going to be more than that if you have to put it in your hoopdedoo. Big disappointment.
  90. I did not like breakfast food until I found French toast flavored bread. I think you are supposed to use it to make French toast, but I just like to put it in the toaster and then add butter. Normally my breakfast is a smorgasbord of whatever leftovers there are in the fridge.
  91. I find it ironic that when I went to Boston, I was not nearly as taken with the history of the city as I was with The Real World firehouse.
  92. Though I have several different online handles, I don’t generally let people call me by them because to me, when you get called by your online handle it is proof that you haven’t been spending enough time offline.
  93. Last night I went walking with Radley and Kristen whereupon I proceeded to fall flat on my face on the sidewalk because I had my hands in my pockets and couldn’t break my fall. Surprisingly, I walked away with just a scrape on my pinky and on my knee. But they both hurt like a mofo this morning.
  94. Sometimes, if I can’t get into whatever is being said at church, I lean up against my friend Diane or Matt and think about what I’ll wear when I meet Matt Damon.
  95. I eat too much because I am such a foodie.
  96. Before I was asked to play Dr. Frankenstein at the Halloween party, I had come up with several ways in which I could make a SpongeBob costume. That’s right, kiddies. I was going to be SpongeBob for Halloween. Bring it around town.
  97. I am often accused of being on drugs and it is always a moment of displeasure for me when I have to reassure the accuser that no, really, I am this way. Sometimes even on purpose.
  98. I should never get manicures. Each time my girlfriend has manicured my nails, I’ve forgotten about the polish and it just starts chipping away week after week. Since the last time she painted my nails I asked her to make them “margarita green,” it looks like I have little pieces of booger clinging to the ends of my fingers.
  99. I am just now starting to realize what a gift I am to the world. Before now, I needed lots and lots of people telling me how wonderful I was and I didn’t really believe them.
  100. I still remember how cold the surf was in the Pacific Ocean when I stepped into it.

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