Cyrus Farivar tagged me. I had no idea what he was talking about until I went and read about it on his blog.
Ah, I see. I'm supposed to list five things that people don't know about me and then tag five others. Well, I'll do the first part.
1) I've never been drunk and I've never taken an illegal drug. Not so many legal ones either, though I'm big on strong coffee. I never developed an interest in drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol because I could have had any of them any time growing up. I grew up in a sketchy area and had a lot of acquaintances that might surprise people. My sister learned to be utterly non-judgmental in this environment. She'd give a total screwball her life savings if he seemed like he was trying to reform. Not that she has a life savings. I watched her make a lot of mistakes and opted out of the substances scene. I was appalled when I got to college and everyone was going crazy getting I'm an artist haircuts, getting drunk, and experimenting with drugs. I thought the other kids were acting like children. Didn't they go through all this already?
2) I didn't fully understand what racism was until I learned about it in college. I realize that sounds ridiculous and naive, but I was surrounded by multiculturalism since I was old enough to comprehend anything. It was just normal that people were of all races and backgrounds. And when I first heard anecdotes about personal encounters with racism, I couldn't believe it. My high school was nothing like that, I argued with another student who was describing the treatment of African-Americans in her school system. (Later, I learned that it's one of the great multicultural schools, to the point where President Clinton would give speeches there sometimes 'cuz it made a good PR setting, and that my childhood was unique. The irony being that race gave the school its defining moment 20 years earlier, immortalized in "Remember the Titans.")
3) When I travel, I always carry my own coffee, Lexan fork/knife/spoon on a keychain, folding scissors, coffee press/mug, and oil-free products. And emergency allergy medications, but I've never had to use them. Oh, and in really remote places such as rural Ethiopia, I also carry peanut butter (no refrigerator required). I like Jif, though ShopRite's house brand is good too.
4) As a teenager, I was really good at first "Space Invaders," then "Pac-Man," then "Ms. Pac-Man," then "Millipede." I stopped playing arcade games when I went to college and there were none in the entire town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Later, I excelled at the "Elvira" pinball machine, which I would play into the wee hours in the East Village.
5) I worked at "Roy Rogers" on the corner of King and Washington in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, for more than two years while I was in high school. I was a hostess and sometimes a cashier. In this case, hostess meant maintaining the salad bar and wiping off tables in the dining room. I'd get up at 4 in the morning on weekends to go and slice carrots. I worked almost a full-time schedule, which in retrospect seems like a bad idea since it surely cut into my grades.
And here's a giveaway, a free number 6. As a kid, I collected model horses. We had model horse shows in my 4-H club. I also read a book a day until I was old enough to work. There, that's actually number 7.
Update: Since they don't mind and are doing it anyway, I am tagging Marcus McLaurin and Steve Buccellato. If three others volunteer, I'll tag them too.