25 Random Crap About Me

I feel vindicated.  After complaining how James Bond couldn’t sing if the fate of Her Majesty’s Government depended on it, James Bond “won” the Razzies for worst performance in a supporting actor role in “Mamma Mia!” (2008).  It’s well deserved.

Only a dozen or so voted, but you can still determine how I should respond to NYU, which was silly enough to solicit me for its undergraduate program after rejecting me for admissions thrice in the last eight years.

Now on to new matters.

My sister, that bored nincompoop, created Note in Facebook with a list of 25 random facts about herself and then created a “rule” under which an unfortunate soul who was tagged will have to do the same thing.  Presumably this is the most modern rendition of the cursed chain letter so the failure to respond may prove damning.  Alas, I am compelled to create my own silly list of 25 random facts.

Let’s start with the 10 most important things in my life, but not necessarily in the order of importance:

1)  The good Man upstairs:  the phrase “action speak louder than words” would be an appropriate critique of my faith, or shortfall thereof.  Just because I can’t live up to Him, though, doesn’t mean I can’t list it as the most important thing.

2)  Friends and family:  I won’t kill for them, but I will come pretty close.

3)  My hair:  those who know my hair may laugh because I don’t do anything with it, but I’m actually very particular about doing nothing about it.  I also spend an exuberant amount of money getting my hair cut by a Japanese guy because quite frankly, Americans don’t know how to properly cut my hair.  That expenditure is well worth the money:  I don’t have to look myself in the mirror and hate myself for a full two weeks.

4)  James Bond:   I’ve seen each Bond film at least three times, even the unbearable “Die Another Day” (2002) and the lifeless “A View to a Kill” (1985).  I don’t think I can sit through either one again, but otherwise, my tolerance for Bond is quite high.  They were running a “Bond unbound” marathon on cable couple weekends ago and I couldn’t stop watching the best, “From Russia With Love” (1963), the famous, “Goldfinger” (1964), the slow, “Thunderball” (1965), and the undistinctive, “In Living Daylights” (1987) although I’d seen them all at least 10 times.  It’s a sign of taking obsession to an unhealthy level when you turn on the TV, see a scene, instantaneously recognize the film and can recite the next line that’ll be uttered.

5)  Republicanism:  If “I think, therefore I am,” then I am a Republican.   I am so aligned with the platform of the party that I can’t tell whether the party was simply a good fit for me or I adopted the platform because I thought that was what conservatism was all about.  “True” Republicans of the ’70s will take offense, but I am a quintessential modern-day Republican:  a social and legal conservative as well as a  fiscal one.  I love former President George W. Bush and I make no apologies for it.  I’ve been surrounded by liberals ever since I went off to college, but I’ve grown more conservative over those years.  I’m very proud of that.

6)  What I’d like to list here, I’ve been told I should not mention because it is unbefitting my age.  So I shall reserve.

7)  New England Patriots:  For those who think I jumped on the bandwagon, at least several people from my teenage years should be able to attest to my loyalty to the team as far back as the mid-90s.  It’s worth noting that I mostly applied to school in New England because of the local football team, so I think I’m as obsessed as one could be without really ever having played or understood football.  It’s a great game of skill, strength, intelligence, and strategy.  I’d love a career in it (see “Grass is greener” below).

8)  New York Yankees:  I don’t love baseball as much as football, but can you blame me for being less enthusiastic about a game that’s played 162 times in a season at a snail’s pace each time?  What’s great about baseball isn’t so much the each individual game that’s played, but the game itself.  Sure it’s a snoozer when you’re watching from home, but no sport feels so different watching live.  I’d pay 60 bucks to go watch a any baseball game (in fact, I’ve paid more for the hated Red Sox), but I won’t pay that for football (except the Pats) or hockey.  And the history of the game, and the Yankees in particular, is remarkable.  One of my dreams is to go visit Cooperstown again.

9)  Stocks:  I’m one of those rare people who wasn’t excited about getting a driver’s license or being able to get legally drunk.  But man, did I love turning 18.  That’s the day I submitted my application to open a stock brokerage account.  I dumped my life savings into it (all four grand), promptly doubled it in less than six months, then quickly lost all that.  I love the thrill of the rise and the fall, not the sense of responsible financial planning, which is why I also love to gamble.  You gotta love the fact that 10 years later, my stock picking abilities haven’t improved.

10)  Macs:  There was a day (honest!) when owning a Mac wasn’t cool.  My parents bought me my first Mac when I was in 7th grade, the PowerMac 6100/60, and I still have it.  I am currently working on my fourth Mac and I’m thinking of buying an iMac, my first desktop since the first PowerMac.  I remember there was a guy in middle school who mocked Macs by saying he only used it to tell time.  Now Macs are safe, cheque, ahead of its time, and cool.  And the company’s influence has expanded to and transformed the music and TV industries.  The story of Apple, Inc.’s  (no longer Apple Computers, Inc.) second coming is the most amazing story since Jesus’ resurrection.

11)  Boston College:  the only reason why BC failed to make the top ten is because I made the “Top 10 List” when I was in high school.  I am infatuated with the school.  I loved every minute of my life I spent there.  It’s a matter of preference and personal fit, of course, but it’s no secret that I think the student body, professors, curriculum, campus, athletics, support staff, ethos, core principles, among others, make Boston College the best college in the world.  That lengthy Japanese Wikipedia article on Boston College?  It’s the product of my obsession after noticing there was an article on Boston University but not on Boston College.  I think I was successful in putting the BU article to shame.

12)  Height:  I have my reasons, but being tall is important, very important.  So keep your distance from me if you’re taller than 6’1″, my height, stated generously.

13)  On being a lawyer:  You know, I never thought I’d be a lawyer, much less a corporate lawyer.  I never liked lawyers and I’m still not particularly impressed (not the people; the profession), although I’ve grown to respect the profession just a little more.  I sort of stumbled onto my current career, and if you’re going to stumble, Shearman & Sterling is where you want to stumble into.  (See, though, “Grass is greener” below).

14)  Food:  I live to eat, not eat to live.

15)  Sleep:  One thing I absolutely need.  I must average eight hours of sleep over the week or my body and mind stops functioning and I turn into a zombie.  I don’t sacrifice food, ever, but I have made exceptions for sleep.

16)  Studiousness:  I’m less serious than I seem but more serious than I pretend.  For whatever reason, throughout high school and college, people thought I studied all the time.  I assure you I didn’t.  If I did, I would’ve gotten better grades.  On the other hand, I try to pretend to not take things seriously, but I care about shit too much to be indifferent.

17)  Shyness:  I’m a shy person at heart.  Really, I am!

18)  The Deep South:  I have this fetish for the South.  I love the gentility, the accent, the tempo, the culture and the mentality of the Southerners.  Sure, their refusal to believe in evolution perplexes me, but no one’s perfect.  I didn’t apply to any colleges or law schools in the South, and I don’t particularly wish I had, but one of my dreams is to live there one of these days.

19)  Recklessness:  I always play things safely, but I occasionally get random.  Like, I got a gun because I could.

20)  Grass is always greener in the neighbor’s yard (although it’s plenty green here):  I have this uncontrollable envy of others’ lives when I don’t have it so badly myself.

Take bilingualism.  People think I have it made because I speak English and Japanese fluently.  I’m jealous of a person who has mastered one language.  There’s no such thing as bilingualism, I tell people.  Only thing you get is imperfection in two languages.

Another example is commuting to school in Japan.  Whenever I go back, I can’t help but envy students on the train with their friends commuting to and from school, often after club activities.  I love the camaraderie.  My high school commute was spent in loneliness in my car.  I’ve been told there’s not a single joy in commuting like a packed sardines at peak rush hour.  But alas, I’ve never experienced it (not daily at least), so I don’t know, so I want to know.  It looks cool so I want to do it.  Like getting a gun.

Incidentally, it’s not just the commute that I’m attracted to concerning Japanese high school life.  They have annual events like Culture Festival (文化祭) put together by the students to showcase the school, club activities, and the student body; an athletic festival (運動会) where the whole school splits into teams and compete; and class trips (修学旅行).  I’m probably attracted to the aspects of Japanese schools that are communal because I never got to experience  school-wide or grade-wide events at American schools.  In adoring Japanese schools, I conveniently ignore the entrance exams, cram school (oh wait, I did go through that), and the bullying (you think you’ve seen bullying?  It’s nothing compared to what happens in Japan where a class of 45 gangs up on one poor soul.  Communalism could be a frightful thing).

I digress, but my irrational attraction to Japanese high school and the South means I find obscure things “cool.”  If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Fast and the Furious:  Tokyo Drift” (2006), Lucas Black plays an American with a Southern accent who goes to high school in Japan.  The movie isn’t very good (presumably, because I’ve never watched the whole thing), but man, I wish I were that character, except I’ll be this Japanese kid who speaks English with a Southern accent, which is even cooler.  (I further digress, but has Hollywood become so devoid of ideas that it needs to produce a remake only eight years after the original and call it a different movie because the word “The” is dropped from the title?”).

I also envy careers of others when I have it quite peachy myself.  I’ve wanted to be a farmer; a teacher; a football coach; a CEO of a shell corporation;  a secretary; a sports columnist; a business columnist; a politician; a campaign manager; “chief” of anything; in the military; inventor; fiction author; mathematician; historian; Jack Bauer; James Bond; actor; screenwriter; director, chef, and a mechanic, among others.  Some of these ideas are just preposterous, but preposterous and fickle am I.

21)  Seasons:  I love the winter snow and cold while I hate the summer heat and humidity, which means I dread spring of all the seasons.  Spring is a dooming reminder of the inevitable summer to arrive.  It doesn’t help that everyone else is so cheerful.

22)  Shallowness:  I never get depressed because depression is for people with deep thoughts.  I’m far too emotionally and intellectually shallow for anything to bother me for too long.  Something bad happens?  I move on within 24 hours.  The longest depression and anger I recorded was 48 hours.  Thus, I rarely have regrets, of which there are only three:  not continuing to play the piano, my half an hour self-implosion at the county tournament in tennis my Senior year, and the third I honestly can no longer remember so apparently the regret has subsided.

23)  Art:  I love movies and TV, enjoy music, and hate paintings.  My opinion of Picasso is, “I know shit when I see one.”

I don’t ask for much in movies:  I want quality entertainment.  I think the best film in recent years is “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006).  My favorite action flick of all time is “Die Hard” (1988), and the funniest movie I’d seen recently is “Burn After Reading” (2008) and a little further back, “Dodgeball:  A True Underdog Story” (2004).  My favorite drama is “Good Will Hunting” (1997), though there’s probably a better quality drama out there.

The same goes for TV.  The best show on TV now is “Friday Night Lights” on NBC, the most intriguing is “Lost” on ABC, the most fun is “House” on Fox, and the most suspenseful is “24” on Fox.

My favorite singer is Brad Paisley, also a talented song writer and guitarist.  Blaine Larsen is an up-and-comer, and I find Josh Turner’s deep voice soothing.

24)  Organization:  I occasionally grow this obsessive compulsion to organize, although my room is generally a mess.  Actually, it’s more appropriate to say that I like to collect and organize.  I collect baseball cards, foreign money, college and law school papers, and stubs for movies I’ve seen.  I love to organize DVDs around the house and keep meticulous track of my stock transactions on Yahoo! Finance.  But worn clothes on the ground and spoiled food in the fridge don’t bother me for days.  I am complicated.

25)  Five Proudest Moments and Accomplishments, in order:

  1. Graduating from Boston College:  Law school graduation is nice, but that’s what I do, not who I am.
  2. Being sworn in as a New Jersey attorney by The Honorable Peter E.  Doyne:  What made it special wasn’t so much the fact of officially becoming a lawyer as much as how it happened.  I had a man whom I deeply respect swear me in before my family and staff.  To top it all off, I had the whole event video taped for my dad to see. 

    My Swearing-In

    My Swearing-In

  3. My college column:  A business column titled “Strictly Business,” it was a four year weekly piece that students in the School of Arts and Crafts had no idea what I was talking about (nor cared to understand) and students in the School of Money thought I had no idea what I was talking about (but cared to point it out).  Readers had to wait for my 87th and final piece for quality reading, my farewell.
  4. Speech during high school graduation:  My high school took a poll among students and faculty to determine the commencement speaker.  I came in second–but close enough to get a sympathy speaking spot.  Unlike my buddy James, who gave a serious, intense speech, mine was predictably light hearted, humorous and (mostly) devoid of substantive content.
  5. My Undergraduate Thesis:  Sure, it’s not very good, but I worked very hard for it.  To date, it remains the grandest project I’ve completed.

5 Responses to “25 Random Crap About Me”

  1. 1 Lisa March 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for calling me a bored nincompoop! I loved your 25 things! lol nice job!

  2. 2 joesas March 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Oh shoot me for speaking the truth. Only a bored person has time to do this, like me on weekends.

  3. 3 Chris Schroeck March 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Someone tagged me in one of those, but I refused to do it.

    Still, it’s pretty neat to read.

    My random comments:

    5. I am still convinced that one day you will see the light. We will get you yet. Maybe you will be one of those rare people who gets more liberal as they get older.

    6. I am intrigued.

    7. I wish I liked a team that actually won every now and then. I am afraid that my Bills are going to move to Toronto or Los Angeles. Then I won’t have any idea who I should pull for.

    8. I, too, want to go back to Cooperstown. It was amazing when I went. I can’t imagine ever going there and not being completely in awe.

    9. I picked 2008 as a year to finally get into the stock market. This does not seem like a lot of fun to me so far.

    14. One thing that I always remember about you is that you ate, and ate, and ate, and never gained any weight. I wish I had that metabolism.

    16. You know, it’s weird, because I lived with you for a couple of years and, thinking back on it, you didn’t spend an incredible amount of time studying. I think for a while I told myself that you did so that I could explain why your grades were so much better than mine.

    18. I don’t live in the deep south, but if you ever want a little taste of the South, without it being too dangerous, you should come visit me. A side benefit is that I could take you to see Monticello, one of the great political landmarks for anyone who is interested in our nation’s history. It’s about 4 miles from my house.

    20. Interesting note about “Fast and Furious”. The thing is that Vin Diesel was in “The Fast and the Furious”, but refused to do “The Fast and the Furious 2” and “Tokyo Drift” because he was such a big movie star. Anyways, his career has taken a turn, to say the least, and now I think they are just making “Fast and Furious” because he’s hard up for work and they have always wanted to make another with him in it.

    23. I recently saw “Letters From Iwo Jima”, and it was incredible. I wished that I spoke Japanese so that I didn’t have to look at the subtitles so much, but it was really, really well done. As a conservative, you will probably laugh at this, but I really think the only movie that is better than “Letters” that has come out in the last few years is “Brokeback Mountain.” That movie tells an incredible love story, that happens to be between two men. It got absolutely ripped off by the Academy, who voted for that pathetic “Crash”. “Crash” was a terrible movie, and actually I think that the liberal-ness of Hollywood worked against Brokeback. People voted for a crappy movie just because it was about race, and made our world out to be just brimming with racial hatred. Anyways, if you want to hear more of my ranting about Crash, e-mail me. It sucked.

    Now I won’t be able to get any more work done today, because I am too angry. Thanks, Joe.

  4. 4 joesas March 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    5. That’s not good. So according to Churchill, I will have nether heart nor brain. I was hoping to at least have the latter….

    6. Sadly, you will have to remain so.

    7. Oh the Bills will never move. There aren’t any rumors, are there? I heard that in Buffalo, they do a 4 hour pregame and a 4 hour postgame, and the sermon on Sundays end with “Go Bills.”

    8. To be in awe when you have little clue as to what it all means is quite remarkable indeed. I think I was like 12 when I went. I definitely have to go again.

    9. This is the perfect time to get in. I’ve bought GE stock at 17, 11, and now at 6, I’m hoping (I need permission from the firm to buy). You gotta get in now when everybody’s panicking. Buy eBay. That’s a great deal at 10.

    14. I still eat and eat, but not as much, and I find myself not being able to eat as much. It’s sad. It’s the saddest thing I’ve experienced in my life. And sometimes, I feel myself getting fatter.

    16. Oh great. You’ve exposed me for what I am. LOL. I just wanted to let u know that I may not have studied in the dorm, but I did study while I was out of the suite. I’m not a genius, so I had to do work to get through.

    18. Virginia is deep enough of a South for me, and now that you’ve mentioned Monticello, I definitely want to go visit. I never did that tour through the South that I planned on doing. It’s great to have someone I know who settled down there. One random day, I’m going to visit you.

    20. Funny how when your career begins to sink, the movies you were too good for begins to look very good, like Bruce Willis with Die Hard 500. I heard Fast and Furious is a sequel, not a remake. Not that it matters, but why title a sequel with the same name as the original? (and it is the same name, let’s be honest).

    23. “Letters from Iwo Jima” is fabulous. I came out of the theatre just amazed at the quality. You must know the starring actor. He was in Batman Begins and that Tom Cruise flick, Last Samurai. He’s a great actor.

    I have to see Brokeback Mountain. I didn’t see it, but my family did and they were not impressed. But then, they have their politics… The commercial looked good and I like all the actors in it (Ann Hathaway’s awesome). Of course, it’s not as good as Brokeback to the Future. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uwuLxrv8jY

    Now, hmmm, I heard awful things about Crash myself. A buddy of mine who’s really into films thought the only highlight of that film was the opening credits, as in they actually had an opening credit like they used to in the old films. I have to watch it and review it now so I can give a sarcasm-laden review like Mamma Mia.

    I’m so glad to know you’re reading my blog at work because, don’t tell this to anyone, but I often, sometimes, rarely, maybe write my blogs at work.

    But I don’t want to make u upset or anything… That’ll be bad for the both of us at work…

  1. 1 What I Learned About Writing « The World According to Joe Trackback on May 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

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