25 Random Things About Me (a.k.a. "Oh no, not another one.")
This originally appeared on Facebook, but it occurred to me that this malnourished blog is long overdue for a new entry. Enjoy.
My first acting role was as Jesus in a kindergarten skit about Lazarus. I improvised the majority of my lines, much to the audience’s delight … and the wrath of the nun who directed it.
Around age five, I thought it would be fun to play postal carrier. I took my wheelbarrow to the neighboring apartment complex, then I collected and redistributed some of the mail. (Justice was swift: I was grounded upon returning to my apartment.)
Sometimes I like dialing older touch-tone phones the hard way - by quickly tapping the hook and emulating rotary dialing. (I first tried this with friends while on-air at WCPR in Hoboken. We ordered a pizza.)
In 1987, while rehearsing the role of Lloyd Dallas (the director) in “Noises Off”, I emulated our actual director’s mannerisms and clothing, down to the flannel plaid shirt and lack of a wristwatch. I have not worn a wristwatch since.
I was the first to correctly identify all 41 guitar riffs quoted within Mike Keneally’s affectionate one minute and twenty-five second Yes tribute, “Faithful Axe” - and I did it within three tries. Mike awarded me a fresh batch of bagels for my efforts. They were delicious.
Thanks to complications following LASIK surgery in my right eye, I helped identify a new contraindication. Thanks to my ever vigilant corneal surgeon, the eye healed. I had PRK in my left eye and ended up 20/15 across the board. (Notice my black-and-white profile headshot where my face is off center and half shadowed. That photo was taken during the recovery.)
Favorite color: orange. Favorite vegetable: carrots. Coincidence?
In college, some friends and I whistled, in harmony, the entire soundtrack to Chess (London Cast). There were witnesses.
My wife Nancy and I barely escaped a lightning strike while cycling in a flash thunderstorm on Grand Bahama Island. (Don’t ask. Let’s just say we were fortunate that a telephone pole transformer was within twenty feet, and leave it at that.)
As a child, I used to re-enact entire Bill Cosby routines at the dinner table during family gatherings.
I enjoy playing songs in mixed and irregular meters. Well, irregular unless you’re from Bulgaria.
Several years ago, I slipped down my carpeted staircase, then saved myself by grabbing the handrail with my left hand. Cost: A messed-up rotator cuff, which goes temporarily and painfully haywire for thirty seconds every two years.
I once arrived for a performance of “A Grand Night for Singing” without my edited percussion score, and we were being videotaped for closed circuit broadcast. Plenty embarrassed, I kept it secret, steeled myself, and managed to improvise the entire show.
I want to write and publish a niche market technical book by 2010, even if it means self-publishing.
In March of 1994, I changed the pronunciation of my last name to match how my late paternal grandfather spoke it: dahn-DRAY-uh. Of course, this caught family and guests off guard at the wedding reception.
I was an extra in the film “Street Justice” (1989). If you listen closely during the picketing scene outside the Hoboken PATH entrance, you can hear me shouting “Down with Chandler!” Extras received compensation of $20 each and breakfast at a nearby diner. It was delicious, but not as much as the bagels.
My typing speed has been clocked around 100 wpm. At Bell Labs, I was known to transcribe conference calls in near-real time. (“My dear boy, why don’t you just try STENOGRAPHY?”)
I used to dream in Technicolor, with prints by DeLuxe. Nowadays it’s closer to Fisher-Price PixelVision. This means I have to concentrate extra hard on the nighttime scenes so I don’t miss anything.
Biggest live performance thrill: Drumming for Broadside Electric on the main stage of the Philadelphia Folk Festival - introduced by Gene Shay. (Bonus Trivia: There’s never enough room to fit your drum kit inside a radio station, no matter how little of it you decide to bring. Don’t be discouraged. Just play.)
I strive to categorically avoid split infinitives. (Whoops.)
I proposed to Nancy via an elaborate two-way conversation between myself (sitting next to her) and myself (on television). The carefully timed TV portion was videotaped, edited into three different Hitchcock movie rentals in their original VHS clamshells, and held at the local West Coast Video. Nancy chose “North by Northwest” - thus the twelve minute proposal sequence ended up interrupting Valerian falling off Mount Rushmore. Like him, she never saw it coming.
I exhibit a Socratic communication style, reveling in and valuing details. Heh. Like you needed me to tell you that by now.
I would like to play drums for a Broadway (or off-Broadway (or touring)) production someday. So there.