Tomorrow I turn 50. Wow. 50? Yup, 50. And because I’m milking this momentous occasion for all its worth, I thought I’d indulge in a fun, self-indulgent and self-centered exercise, letting you learn stuff about me, whether you’ve known me 5 minutes or 50 years. Nothing too deep, though, as I said “fun little….exercise.” So here goes!

  1. “What Work Is” by Philip Levine is my favorite poem
  2. I have a serious lead foot and I have the tickets to prove it
  3. I was a very mediocre student until reaching SJSU
  4. I love writing advertising/marketing but I wish I had been a meteorologist
  5. Scariest moment: Laying on a gurney at Swedish Hospital in the midst of a “minor” heart attack, wondering if I was going to live or die
  6. “Blazing Saddles” my favorite comedy movie will, thankfully, never, ever be re-made
  7. I love having milk with popcorn and pizza
  8. Happiest moment (tie): witnessing the births of Sam and Noah, and seeing my wife walk down the aisle
  9. Reading is everything
  10. I cried went the SF Giants won the World Series in 2010
  11. 9/11 was an ideological catalyst for me
  12. I birdied the 18th hole on The Old Course at St. Andrews and wept with joy about it
  13. I fucking swear a lot
  14. Every day is about making good choices, and I still struggle in making them
  15. Accepting God into my life was a really, really smart idea
  16. As a writer, I have no desire to write a novel; I enjoy poetry and short stories so much more
  17. I have more than 45 baseball caps—and I organize them by place and sports category
  18. For now, “Inglorious Basterds” is my favorite movie. Sorry, “Raging Bull.”
  19. R.E.M. is my favorite band
  20. Prince’s “Purple Rain Tour” is still my favorite concert
  21. Good advice I live by: Try to enter into any conversation with the notion that there’s a 50% chance you’re wrong
  22. Best vacation: Mauna Kea on The Big Island with the wife—sans children. Yup, even better than our honeymoon.
  23. Biggest dream come true (outside of love and kids): Going to Scotland on a 2-week golf pilgrimage in ’12
  24. People who do volunteer work than blather on about how good it makes them feel, miss the fucking point
  25. I wonder if you’re getting bored with this list yet
  26. Tequila and scotch are my poisons
  27. I believe in ghosts because I’ve seen them. And the hair rose on my skin when I wrote that
  28. I believe I have an un-diagnosed learning disability; I have great difficulty in retaining and recalling information (see #4)
  29. I’ve fallen in love three times
  30. I’m trying to figure out what, if anything, to do for a second career
  31. I didn’t think I’d live to see 50
  32. Saddest moment: Witnessing both parents pass away, my father in 1984, and my mom a little more than a year ago
  33. Everyday filled with life changing moments, but they’re smaller and harder to see than big ones so we miss them
  34. The Simpsons are my all-time favorite TV show, though I have watched in 15+ years
  35. It’s okay to sit around and do nothing
  36. I’ve never been to a strip club
  37. I harbor the desire to be and think I have the talent to be a professional poker player
  38. I shot even par (72) and had my only hole-in-one in the same round
  39. Mac & Jack’s African Amber is my favorite beer
  40. “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath is my favorite fiction book (I’m a classics guy)
  41. People who name their children after characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird” annoy me
  42. I can’t pinpoint my favorite non-fiction book. There are too many. Sorry…
  43. Thomas Jefferson is my favorite POTUS
  44. Clearly I like lists
  45. The starting salary of my first job in advertising (receptionist/secretary) was $17,500 in 1991
  46. I have no use for people who play the victim card
  47. The number of stents in my heart: 6
  48. I consider myself a mediocre writer. And for some strange reason that makes me try harder…
  49. My favorite source for objective news is the Washington Post
  50. I honestly didn’t think I’d make it to 50 but I’m very, very happy that I have