Simon Wood

Posts Categorized: hump day post

I love to drive and I love to cycle. I understand how hairy it is out there to be a cyclist when drivers are careless. I have the concussions, broken bones and a brain injury to prove it. I’m also driven to distraction by idiotic cyclists that think the rules don’t apply to them and cars have to bow down to them. So this is a list of suggestions for both camps to help everyone get along.

1. You don’t own the road. Cyclists aren’t on your road. We all share it and we only need a few feet of consideration.
2. Bike lanes are for bikes only. Stay out of our lane and we’ll stay out of yours.
3. Just because you’re turning right at an intersection, doesn’t mean I am. I’ve been hit three times by cars plowing into me because they thought I had to be going your way.
4. Have an appreciation for the speed of a bike. I average 20mph on a flat road and can reach speed of 40mph going downhill. If I were a car traveling at those speeds, how much consideration would you give me then?
5. Bikes can’t stop on a dime. They have tiny little brake blocks, no abs, no power servos, so a bike stopping at 20mph will need as much distance as a car.
6. Parents, school zones aren’t to be treated like the pit lane at the Indy 500. School zones are the most dangerous strip of road the planet. I’d rather ride blindfold on a freeway than ride through a school zone during pick up or drop off. For some reason, it’s excuse for parents to triple park, lunge across traffic, drive the wrong way on the road and generally forget that any rule of the road applies to them. Parents, get a grip.
7. Drivers, don’t honk your horn to let me know you’re coming up behind me. Trust me, I can hear you well before you catch up with me.
8. Drivers, don’t treat me any differently than any other vehicle. If you arrive at a stop sign first, go. Don’t suddenly give me special treatment and expect me to go. You’re very kind, but it confuses me and everyone around you. Changing your behavior causes accidents.
9. Use your mirrors. I’m quicker and closer than you think.
10. 500,000 cyclists end up in ERs every year. Two die every day. Back off and keep someone else safe.

1. Cyclists, you don’t own the road. You share it with vehicles that are bigger and heavier than you are. Lose the arrogance. You aren’t better than them.
2. The rules of the road apply to you too. Run red lights, cut across traffic, not wear a helmet or not put lights on your bike at your peril. Don’t cry about it if you get a ticket or end up in a wheelchair.
3. Pack riders, safety in numbers. I like it, but pack riders, don’t ride five abreast–you’re a mobile obstruction. You piss off drivers, generate bad feeling and drivers take it out on the lone rider like me.
4. Riders who ride with their iPod playing, are you kidding me? How dumb are you? At least you won’t hear the eighteen wheeler that wipes you out.
5. Hesitant riders, your hesitation is just as bad as someone’s carelessness. It confuses everyone around you because your unpredictability causes everyone react just as unpredictability. Ride like you would drive a car. Everyone understands that.
6. If you’re afraid to make a left turn, get off the bike and use a crosswalk or learn to cross the lanes to get in the left turn pocket. Don’t slow to crawl then try to cross all the lanes at once.
7. Look over your shoulder before crossing in front of traffic. It’s not their job to get out of your way.
8. Use the cycle lanes. A lot of money and effort has gone into having them installed.
9. Being a confident rider doesn’t mean being an aggressive rider. Like it or not, ride defensive. In the rock, paper, scissors game of travel, automobile always beats bicycle.
10. 500,000 cyclists end up in ERs every year. Two die every day. Don’t be a statistic.

I hope that helps… 🙂

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I’m saying goodbye to some close friends this week. Namely some favorite tee-shirts and things (and when I say things, I mean under garments). The test of time has claimed the lives of some of my favorite clothes. Slight frays have become holes, tears and rips. There’s even been “collar separation” in some cases. In Julie’s words, “God, you can’t keep wearing that.” And she was right. So, I’ve been sorting through some of my clothes and consigning them to the trashcan.

But before you think I’m a little weird I should mention that when some of these “aged garments” are little past their prime, they do get reclassified as “gym only.”

So how old are these clothes? I hear you cry.

All of have celebrated a decade in age, while some of my old tees are more than fifteen years old. Yes, astounding I know. Hey! What do you mean shocking? That’s a little rude, my faithful reader.

Look, the thing about me is that I can’t things go if I really like them. It’s why there are so many restraining orders against me. Instead of shame, I see these restraining orders as merely an endorsement of my affection for something, but I digress. The point is when I find an item of clothing that I enjoy wearing; I will keep on wearing it.

But for fifteen years? C’mon, Simon. What kind of condition are these things in?

Not bad, actually. I treat my possessions with respect and I’m a gentle person (and lover—that’s an FYI for the ladies). And it’s not just clothes, but with everything. I don’t own a book with a cracked spine or a CD with a broken jewel case. My car and bikes are treated with respect to reduce wear and tear. So my things look good until the day comes to retire them.

I suppose this is why Julie frustrates me so much. She has a bull in a china shop approach to her stuff and they look like they’ve suffered trench warfare after she’s finished with them. She’s a brute, ladies and gents. It’s why we don’t have children. We’d be forever gluing arms and legs back on.

Now, I know I may have lost your trust and respect among some of you, but if an item of clothing feels good, don’t you keep on wearing it? Yeah, you know I’m right. It’s just that I know how to make it go the extra mile. There’s nothing wrong in that, is there?

Well, I’m off down to the mall to do a little shopping, but while I’m away, dish the dirt on your wardrobe. What’s your favorite piece and how old is it?

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I love a good movie, but the problem with movies is what makes a good movie good is subjective. What I think is a good movie may not be your cup of tea. I accept that and you do too. However there are movies which take on iconic status because they’re universally loved. Well, not quite. More often than not, I tend to be one person who doesn’t like certain iconic movies. Now this could because I’ve had a lot of head injuries, but I don’t think so. So, I feel I have to play the role of the little boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes and I have to tell you that the King is naked.

Here are four movies that I think are mediocre at best that most of the world thinks are masterpieces.

This is my number one pet peeve movie. Most people agree that this movie is a masterpiece. I’ve watched documentaries about the symbolism in this film, but I’m sorry I don’t get it. I find Chinatown a dull and confusing movie. I did as a kid and I do as an adult—and I shouldn’t. I love 40’s noir, especially noir set in LA, but it’s as if Robert Towne took that’s confusing about The Big Sleep and used it for the inspiration for Chinatown. Take the classic line, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” What’s Chinatown!?! Corruption, incest and murder?? That’s Chinatown. How is that Chinatown? That’s not Chinatown. That’s gibberish. So much so, I’m going to write a book about fatigue levels in commercial airline manufacture and the subsequent cover-up and I’m going to call it, Paper Cup, just so that the last line can be “Forget it, Jake. It’s Paper Cup.” Yes, I am a little hot under the collar, thank you, but this movie does that to me. Maybe that’s Chinatown. Who the hell knows? Let’s move on.

Now, I’m talking about the Al Pacino remake done in ’82. Quite simply, this is one of the most God awful films ever made. Everybody’s acting is terrible and over the top, not mention poorly cast. The music makes me ashamed to have ears. The story is bad Shakespeare. The set design is hideous to the extent to give the movie the impression that it had no budget. But for some reason, guys love this film and I don’t know why. I’m a guy. I like sports. I believe in turning my underwear inside out to make it last an extra week between washings. So I should like Scarface, but I don’t. It’s just bad. When I like to say hello to my little friends, this isn’t one.

Full Metal Jacket:
Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam masterpiece. Well, not for me. Again, this is another guy movie must have. Like Scarface, most of my men buddies have this movie in their DVD collections. While they’ll rave about the male camaraderie of it and violence, the movie falls flat for me and for one very big reason—the lopsided storytelling. I don’t know what the movie is about. Is it about the horrors of basic training or is it about being a greenhorn in battle? I don’t know, but it should be one and not both. And to be honest, the basic training section dominates the film that the Nam portion feels tacked and really doesn’t have a purpose or a sense of meaning. The only thing to marvel at is that they did a really good job at making London’s east end look like Vietnam.

The Empire Strike Back:
I’ll be upfront. I could have taken a poop over episodes I-III, but I think most people agree that they’re terrible movies, but Empire is different. Star Wars fans float this one in rarified air where a sequel is better than the original, but I disagree. The problem with it is that the movie doesn’t have a beginning, middle and end. Star Wars: A New Hope does. Empire doesn’t. Two hours in, someone blows a whistle and says, “We’ve got enough in the can. Let’s go.”I remember sitting in the movie theatre, just twelve years old, and thinking—this is just an intermission, right? Wrong! George Lucas duped me because he knew he had Jedi to come and he could leave it there. I also take issue with what is considered one of the greatest story twists in movie history—“Luke, I am your father.” While this is a great twist, it’s also the kind of twist that happens most weeks in daytime soap operas. Also, once we possess this knowledge, story integrity develops a little wood rot. Why didn’t Obi-Wan Kenobi drop this piece of knowledge to Luke earlier? Also when Vader and the Emperor are batting on about Anakin, you’d have thought Vader would have said, “You know Anakin was me before I went all dark side up in this bitch?” Empire is a good movie, but let’s face it, it ain’t a masterpiece.

So there you have it. Now feel free to convince me otherwise and I invite you to do it, but don’t expect me to change and with Christmas around the corner, don’t think about sending them as stocking stuffers. Alternatively, lob out a few of your problematical classic movie suggestions. I know we all have at least one in us.

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I’m celebrating sixteen years in the US as of yesterday and just to prove it, I got homesick while I was in Seattle last week. Homesickness now and again and shows itself in many ways. It can be a desire to be in a certain place, a yearning for the familiar or just see old friends. This time, I had a mad craving for a pork pie after seeing them in an English shop outside of Seattle.  The last time this happened, it was a couple of years ago  It was all I could think about for days. The craving got so bad that I tracked down a company that would ship me one. And very lovely it was too. It was like being home…one bite at a time. And no I didn’t share it with anyone, not that anyone wanted any. Philistines!

I must admit certain foods make me homesick because I don’t have access to them. I weep nostalgically over pork pies, Christmas pudding, mum’s sherry trifle and fish and chips from a proper fish and chip shop just to name a few. Now I’m sure someone will pipe up and say I can get those things here, but I beg to differ. I submit to you that America is in capable of replicating fish and chips that you can get from a street corner chippie. In recent years, Julie and her mum have managed to make a pretty decent Xmas pudding and trifle, thanks to some coaching from my mum.

What’s weird is that these foods weren’t things I ate everyday back in the old country, but somehow I yearn for them now I don’t have access to them. I suppose this has something to do with a need for talismans in our lives. They are things that we hold on to for comfort and for reasons of identity. My personal identity rests on having a pork pie from time to time. That probably says that my identity isn’t all that strong. But that’s the problem with homesickness. It’s a disease. It makes you want weird things.

So does this mean I’m going to run back home. I don’t think so. I’ve been away too long. The problem is that I’m homesick for 1998. Too much has changed in the time I’ve been gone. Things have changed. People have gotten older. My favorite DJs are no longer playing tunes for the kids and are now propping up the midnight hour over at Radio Dad FM. Essentially, everything has moved on in my absence. I’m homesick for a time and place that no longer exists. It’s a reason why I haven’t been back to the UK in over five years. It’s a little disheartening to see that a country didn’t put itself on hold for you. How rude.

All this means I’m here to stay in the US of A. I like this place. And you seem to like me. Oddly enough, I like some of you people too, even if you are hampered by being American. And that seems like a pretty nice arrangement if you ask me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find out where I can get a sausage roll?

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The customer is king in the US and that’s great, but there are limits and that’s never more applicable than when it comes to dealing with doctors and dentists. I’ve recently been to the doctor and dentist so my opinion has been reinforced. I suppose since I’m paying for health care, doctors and dentists feel they are no different from wait staff or salespeople. They know that if I don’t like what they do, I’m out of there. Because of this, these healthcare professionals ask the worst questions.

When I met my first US dentist, he asked, “What can I do to improve your smile?”

“Well, you can get Salma Hayek to sit on my lap and have someone shovel Sacagawea dollar coins into the trunk of my car,” was the first thought that sprang to mind.

The best smile improvement that my dentist can give me is to tell me that my teeth are in good shape. The hard sell isn’t necessary.

I fear a dentist will one day ask, “What do I have to do put you into these dentures today?”

Things aren’t much better at the doctor’s office. A couple of months back I received a letter from a surgeon, asking me to let him know if I needed anything done.

Visiting my general practitioner is a little weird, too. Every time I have an appointment, the nurse pops her head out from behind a doorway and calls my name. Her first question to me is, “How are you?”

How do you think I am? If I were tiptop, I wouldn’t even be here today. I don’t come here for the conversation, but I always reply, “I’m good, thanks. And you?”

Every time I answer this way, I feel stupid. Worse still, I fear she’s going to call me on my remark. “Hey, if you feel so good, then why are you here? Do you like wasting our time, Mr. Wood?”

On occasion, I’ve answered truthfully. “Yeah, I’m actually not too good. I think I might have the flu.” Sadly, I feel just as dumb for telling the nurse how sick I am. I keep thinking, does this person really care and shouldn’t I be saving this story for the doctor? And when I do meet the doctor, they ask the same question, “How are you?” and I still say, “I’m good, thanks.”

I remember when a car had hit me and I was in the ER, the doctor asked, “How are you?” Okay, I had concussion and I wasn’t at my best, but I still told her I felt great.

There are situations where I don’t need niceties, but we can be chummy after I’m all mended. At the beginning, I want my doctor to start in with, “Hey, Simes, you look like a sack of used turds. What the dilly-o, player?”

I realize everyone needs to present a professional and service-oriented image, but at the same time, let’s be realistic. The medical profession is not a conventional customer/service provider arrangement. We can get down to the nitty-gritty without the sales gloss.

That said, how are you?

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The other week I talked about Public Information Films of the 1970’s scared, warped and thrilled me as a child with their unfiltered messages of what not to do as a kid.  This week I want to talk about a kids’ TV program from the same time period that scared me for all the wrong reasons.  Of course, I’m referring to The Muppet Show.
Naturally, characters like Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear didn’t scare me.  If I’m being honest, they kind of didn’t impress me—except Fozzie.  He was a funny guy.  No, it was the background characters that did it for me. Take Dr. Bunsen Honeydew for instance.  Just take a look at this guy.  He wears glasses but he has no eyes!  WTF?  While that feature is creepy, that wasn’t the thing that disturbed me about him.  It was the fact that this no-eyed, glasses wearing scientist carried out human vivisection on his assistant, Beaker, every week. Nothing in the Exorcist or Alien or any other horror movie makes me skin crawl, but I can’t handle a second of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.  How come Mary Whitehouse would jump all over Dr. Who but never once went after this felt covered psychopath? 
While Dr. Bunsen Honeydew scared me for what he did, Sweetums made me turned my stomach just to look at.  I think he’s an ogre or something, but I’ll be honest, when I first saw him appear in the opening credits for the show in background, I sat up in my chair and thought, what is that and how do I make it go away?
Pepe is a good example of where the Muppets touched me in all the wrong places.  He’s one of many genetically challenged creatures to appear in the background (probably something to do with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew).  He’s got four arms and a receding chin. What’s that about?  Oh, he’s a prawn.  Why did no one say?  That’s one of my beefs with the Muppets.  They have these creatures that need explaining which no one ever bothers to explain.  He still doesn’t look like a prawn.
Mahna Mahna is one of those Muppets that twisted my understanding of people’s behavior.  Here’s a guy who can essentially say two words—Mahna Mahna.  No one knows if this is his name or the outburst of someone with tourettes.  However, with his limited vocab, he managed to score a record contract.  Even as a child, I scratched my head at this…and I still do as an adult.
Then there were all the various sacrificial characters like the chickens and Bean Bunny whose only purpose was to fall victim to violence such as explosions or be ingredients in one of the Swedish Chef’s recipes.
I could go on, but I won’t because I’m starting to spook myself.  I had such high hopes for The Muppet Show.  They were puppets which are always a good thing in my book, but the show always felt like a surreal creation of a damage psyche and I wanted nothing to do with it.  Why couldn’t they have been like Bert and Ernie? 

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Even though I’m in the second half of my forties, it’s odd that some mundane things such as getting on an escalator or crossing the road will make me nervous.  It’s not that I’m a big ‘fraidy cat or anything.  My fear is buried deep in my psyche.  The source of this psychological damage is the UK government and their Public Information Films of the 1970’s.

PI Films were supposed to help kids understand that the world was a dangerous place and children were easy prey.  The films dealt with dangers like crossing the road, playing with pills and chemicals, playing near bodies of water, hiding in things like fridges, but they also went all the way up to sexual predators.  These are worthy topics but the packaging the UK Govt. used was fear and unlike the patronizing The More You Know PSAs, these movies pulled no punches.
The reason I get a little worried about crossing the road or getting on an escalator was because the PI Films were scary.  The road crossing one illustrated the dangers of crossing the road between parked cars by having the cars’ big chrome grills turn into hungry steel mouths ready to eats thoughtless children.  The escalator PIF was no different.  It featured a child’s ragdoll ripped to pieces by the sharp edges of an escalator while the same happened to a child off screen.  The tactics used for these kinds of issue were pretty minor league things such as crossing the road and escalators.  The ante got upped when it came to topics such as sexual predators.  I remember the one I was shown about sexual predators gave nightmares to half my class for weeks, although for the life of me I can’t remember a single detail from it.  I do know my mum still can’t watch anything with the actor who played the pedophile. 
These films weren’t made by the government.  In most cases ad agencies or young filmmakers cut their teeth on these things.  Check out APACHES I’ve included here which warns children of overzealous play.  The director of that would go on to make THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY a few later and it’s hard to tell which has the gorier death scene (watch part 2 to see what I mean).  APACHES is a great example because it never tells you what you should or shouldn’t do.  It just lets a high body count do the talking for it.
It could be argued that these little movies went too far.  And yes, in a way they did as their psychological effect is still with me forty years later.  But I’ll defend these things to the ends of the earth because they worked.  They scared me straight and kept me save.  They were no different from the fairytales that warned children of the dangers of the world.  Okay we had a few nightmares but we were careful around pills, unmarked chemicals, matches, power stations, fireworks and bodies of stagnant water.  So I ask you to enjoy the nostalgia, absorb the message and try not to have any sleepless nights.  Enjoy the films, kiddies…

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I drive Julie to distraction with this one. She’ll hold up a radish or something and say, “Will you eat this and if so, how will you eat it?”

I have issues with fruit and vegetables. I don’t know where it stems from, but I’m picky. Let me throw out a few of examples.

I hate oranges, but love orange juice.
I love bananas, as long as they aren’t cooked.
Carrots are great cooked, but raw, blah!
Strawberries are great, but only cold.

I think it’s a texture thing. You know some vegetables taste like wood unless they’re cooked, while others are nothing better than sludge when cooked.

So poor, little Julie stresses in the produce section over whether I’ll eat this or that. Sometimes, I’ll surprise her with “oh, I love those.” She’ll get excited but I’ll follow up with, “But only if they’re cut up real small.”

Cleanliness is an issue too. If I think the lettuce is too old, or if it has a blemish on it, I’ll chuck it.

Julie wants me to mention mushrooms, because I peel off the skins off mushrooms and I won’t eat the stalks. She says, “What’s your problem? It’s only a bit of dirt.” Yeah, but that’s like saying, “Oh, that’s just little bit of rabies.” I’m sorry; I’m not eating dirt. If I wanted to eat dirt, I would have been born with a snout. So there. Anyway, mushrooms aren’t vegetables. They’re fungi. It doesn’t count.

I think it has a lot to do with not liking vegetables as a kid. For me, fruit and vegetables need to be disguised. Fruit is best presented in pie form. I wouldn’t recognize a vegetable if it was wearing a beef overcoat.

Of course, there are exceptions and for me, its apples. Apples are great as they are, as long as I don’t have to eat the skin, and they’re great cooked, as long as they’re mushed.

Oh, and by the way, Julie says, “Aaarrrrhhhh!!!!”

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I first met Royston fourteen years stealing melon from a pig.  Six months old and malnourished he was an odd looking longhaired dachshund, but Julie and I had an instant connection to him.  Since then Royston has become my sidekick…or have I become his.

As dog’s go, Royston has achieved quite a bit.  A photo was carried in the last space shuttle missions.  His face appeared on the side of a Red Bull F1 car at the British Gran Prix a couple of years ago.  He’s competed in wiener dog races.  One of my proudest moments was seeing him cross the finish line on a jumbotron in slomo.  He’s come to book signings.  He’s whitewater rafted.  He’s traveled up and down the country.  Having the personality he has, he’s got into buildings and national monuments that animals aren’t allowed.
He definitely has a dachshund’s personality.  He’s cantankerous and crafty which makes him both fun and a chore.  I don’t think I’ve met a dog with such a strong sense of right and wrong.  Just don’t jaywalk and wear a hat in his presence.  He marshals all our other animals, cats and chickens alike. 
But for everything he’s done, Julie and I realize that age is catching up with Royston.  A lot of silver has crept into his fur.  He doesn’t quite have the sprint in his little legs that he once had.  He sleeps a lot more now.  He went deaf a year ago and he’s losing his eyesight.  He has pancreatitis which means we have to make his food from scratch every day.  He has to take medication for allergies and his eyes daily.  Despite these issues, he’s still in good shape and still loves life.  He still has a lot of life left in him, but I know in my heart of hearts, we know he’s in his twilight years, which is heartbreaking.  I think there’s a quote (by George Carlin, I believe) that goes along the lines of: “To welcome a pet into your life is to invite tragedy into your home.”

But I believe and hope Royston has a few more good years in him.  That said, I want to make sure I give him all that he wants from life.  Inspired by a couple of news stories about pet owners with terminally ill dogs who gave their pets a royal send off, like them, I’ve decided to make up a bucket list for him.

So here’s his bucket list (which is my promissory note to him):
1.      He loves motorcycles, so a ride in a motorcycle sidecar.  If you live in the Bay Area and you have one…get in touch.
2.      Take him on a boat as he loves to travel and he’s not been on one yet.
3.      Take him to the beach as he likes to dip his toes.
4.      Make sure he always a slingshot monkey toy which is his favorite toy.  I have this one done as I bought a sack load of these to last him years.
5.      Make sure I take him to one of his favorite walks at least once a week.
6.      Cross a few more state lines with him.
7.      Tell him his good boy every day.
8.      Take him on a train ride.
9.      Always have some time carved out for him every day.
10.  Give him the best life possible.
This is only the start of the list.  I think Royston and I have plenty of time to keep adding to it.  J

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I’m feeling frivolous. I hope frivolous doesn’t mind. Anyhoo, very few of you have met me, so you haven’t gotten to see or know me in all my splendor. To remedy this, I thought I’d share a few facts about me.

1. I wear mismatched socks. I don’t “bunny ear” the pairs together (who’s got time for that). Instead, I tug the first two socks I grab. My socks are usually of the cartoon variety, so I get away with the mismatch. I like to think of my socks as entertainment for my ankles.

2. I like being short and wish I was shorter. I’ve always been small. I’m used to being small. Small looks good on me. But at 5’-4”, I think I’m a tad too tall. It puts me in that tall-short category which is no place to be.

3. I find toilet humor damn funny. A good poo-poo joke will have me laughing like a drain.

4. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss racing cars. I raced single-seaters from ’90-’93. It remains the best and worst thing I ever did. The highs can never be matched, neither can the lows. It made me a tougher, stronger person.

5. If I could be any fictional hero, I would be Dr. Who. I’m a lifelong Dr. Who fan. I think he’s the greatest superhero ever created. I still hope that one day my parents will tell me I’m adopted and I’m really a Timelord. It could happen.

6. Most things scare me from heights to buying coffee in Starbucks. I see the worst in everything. If it’s going to go wrong, it’s going to wrong around me. I have a talent for disaster, so everything worries me a little. Add to that a wild imagination, and within a handful of seconds, I’ve foresee a dozen outcomes.

7. I’m short-tempered–it’s a height related thing. I have a short fuse. I like to laugh and joke and not take the world too seriously. If you ruin that for me, you’re going to hear about it.

8. I’m a bleeder, not a fighter. Pari has her brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. My fighting technique extends as far as the windmill.

9. Julie has longer legs than me. We’re about the same height, but if I have to get in a car after her, I have to scoot the seat forward. This amuses her.

10. I’m dyslexic and it took me 5 goes at spelling the word correctly. My reading age is grade 5 or 6, I think. Someone can read a book out loud faster than I can read a book with my eyes. This is a reason I listen to a lot of audio books.

11. I believe dessert isn’t food, but a way of life. Let them eat cake, that’s what I say.

12. I come from a massive family. Just going back two generations, my family is into triple-digits. We could have our own phone book. This contrasts heavily with Julie who only has one uncle and one cousin.

13. I am not the voice of the Geico gecko, although we are of similar height.

14. My favorite cereal is Special K. I know it’s a “lady’s” cereal, but I think it tastes good. When I was little I used to steal my cousin’s Special K before she got up in the mornings and hide it under a layer of cornflakes so she wouldn’t know. Sorry Hazel. On the plus side, I always fit into my jeans.

15. Despite being allergic to cats and dogs, I adopt defective animals from the pound. I have a longhaired dachshund that is allergic to people and about a dozen other things. I have one cat that can’t metabolize cat food, so I have to make my own. I have one cat with extremely long fingers and I do mean fingers. One cat insists on coming on walks with my dog. One cat is a dwarf because it was very sick during its developmental stage.

So there you haven’t it. I make as much sense as a VCR instruction manual. But these are the things that make me who I am and are the things have a tendency of working their way into my stories.

Now you know a little bit about me, let’s hear a bit about you. Give me a fun fact or two.

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