10 Things I’ve Done That You Probably Haven’t

OPM columnist John Scalzi posted an entry on his personal blog where he invited readers to list 10 things they’ve done that most people haven’t. It sounded like a fun idea, and responding reminded me I’ve had an oddly interesting life. So here are my 10; feel free to add your own in comments or on your own blog! (If you do put it on your own blog, leave me a message to that effect in comments, ok?)

1. Headlined a punk rock show in a Masonic temple in Trenton, New Jersey. The opening band was a very young Less Than Jake, followed by a surprise appearance by Bobby Steele (formerly of the Misfits) and his band the Undead, who performed a 3-song set on our equipment. Their closing song was a freakin’ incredible rendition of “Last Caress” (which Steele wrote but Glenn Danzig stole and copyrighted under his own name) in which Steele paused before the final verse and slyly commented, “Often imitated, never duplicated.” \m/

2. Hosted an hour-long interview with Marilyn Manson and David Duchovny, where I got them to interview each other. (You can read it here.)

3. Raced full-tilt down a pier in Biloxi, Mississippi, to call 911, because I thought a homeless guy had drowned himself. Subsequently got into a heated argument with all the pot-smoking asshats on the pier who were pissed because the cops were coming. The guy turned out to be fine, just a bit drunk–and the water was only waist deep. Oops.

4. Spent the night in a train station in Norwich, England, after seeing New Model Army and subsequently learning that the last train left as the last song was playing.

5. Was called “a really great bass player” by the really great bassist from Rancid.

6. Scored 1460 on my SATs: 730 math, 730 verbal.

7. Assisted in an embalming, and helped dress my deceased father for his viewing (his funeral arrangements included a request for his five sons to do this honor). I grew up in a funeral home, which is our family’s business.

8. Watched a packed room of some 2000 people singing along to lyrics I wrote, at a show where my band opened for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

9. Met and interviewed Police drummer Stewart Copeland, who told me, “Creativity isn’t like a resource, where the more you use it the less you have. It’s like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.” This may be the best advice I’ve ever been given.

10. Had my name used for a character in a totally awesome sci-fi novel, and was thanked in the acknowledgements.

So let’s hear yours!