Ahhh yes, I found I have been tagged to provide “Eight Things You Don’t Know About Me” by my favorite red-headed Pittsburghian grad student Carolyn who over at her Pinky’s Paperhaus blog has seen fit to include me in her chain. Other than qualifying the title with “Probably” between the “You” and the “Don’t” let’s get on with it shall we?

1. I was born with shortened achilles tendons and walked in a modified tiptoe for most of my childhood. To correct this I had to wear a variety of clunky orthopedic shoes as a child that worked to stretch the tendons. The absolute coolest part (and by that I mean entirely not cool) was that the shoes were outfitted with complete with those metallic taps on the heel whose *click* sound or lack thereof was respectively designed to remind me that I was either walking correctly or not. You can just bet I loved tapping down echoing elementary school hallways.

Fortunately by the mid-1970s, the famous Earth Shoe with its negative heel came into being and by 5th grade from then I was shod in a slightly more stylish (at least for the time) and decidedly less noisy shoe. And they worked. My tendons were declared officially elongated by the following year.

2. At 12 years old I wanted to be a decathlete after Bruce Jenner won the Olympic decathlon in Montreal in 1976. I even went to see my favorite phys-ed instructor, Coach Hills, at Le Conte Junior High during summer school and told him of my goal. He very realistically asked me where the hell was I going to find the athleticism required, much less a pole to vault over anything with. That was the end of that dream.

3. I knew instantaneously that a relationship in its early stages with an otherwise wonderul gal during the summer of 1984 was over when during a hot tub party the subject turned to favorite writers and after I earnestly said Hemingway was one of mine, she sounded off in all her learned San Diego State freshmen-year glory about her abject hatred for him, adamantly insisting he was too verbose, with the others present pretty much in agreement. Excusing myself I calmly got out of water, dried off, dressed, left and never spoke to her nor saw her again.

4. I wore a t-shirt with the famous Farrah Fawcett poster on it for my eighth grade school picture. In ninth grade I wore overalls, which were all the rage that year.

5. When I was in third grade down the driveway alongside the apartment building I lived in I’d onyourmarksgetsetgo race airplanes passing high overhead and think I beat them.

6. I’m self-taught in the art of shoelace tying. The method I figured out on my own as a kid is clumsy and slow and wrong but it works for me still to this day.

7. At around the same time I was racing planes I accidentally discovered how to roll my tongue when I said the word “checkers.”

8. I secretly heart memes (but I do not tag anyone directly).