God knows I tried to avoid the meme that ate Facebook, but when so many friends demand you reveal 25 random things about yourself, you tend to pony up a few bons mots. So, without any further adieu, I give you two dozen or so useless factoids about yours truly - in hopes you never ask I do so again...
1. I was born Stewart Lee Carney. L-o-n-g story.
2. Garth Brooks laughed out loud when I asked him if he ever got tired of singing ‘that Achy-Breaky song’.
3. Long fascinated with exploration in the Age of Sail, I can prattle on for hours about Sir John Franklin’s doomed pursuit of the Northwest Passage. But I will NOT discuss Shackleton’s voyage. Shack is Whack.
4. Once upon a time, only my wife called me ‘Stewie’. Now it seems everyone does. I don’t remember authorizing that.
5. I have a pathological aversion to pompous dickheads - which makes working in local TV News awfully difficult sometimes.
6. I fully plan to self-publish a book of short-stories this year, and am more than willing to sell all 4 copies.
7. I have imparted upon my children a reverence for reading, a love for early Stevie Wonder and a wicked Frisbee hurl.
8. A mild case of acrophobia has never stopped me from hopping into every cockpit my fancycam would allow: rickety Cessna two-seaters, attack helicopters, hot air balloons, the Goodyear Blimp. I’ve even jumped out of reasonably good airplanes without freaking out -- but little sleep, lots of liquor on board and one very tall Vegas building can still reduce to me rubble. Right, Portier?
9. I HATE to re-write - and it shows.
10. I’m as equally comfortable in a crackhouse or Governor’s Palace, provided I have a brightly-logo’d Sony on my shoulder.
11. A fairly stable student through middle school, I took off my sophomore year to pursue truancy and pharmaceuticals. It did not end well and Tenth Grade Revisited forever taught me the value of compartmentalizing frivolity.
12. Not all that materialistic, my most prized-possession is the battered pair of eyeglasses that lives at the end of my nose - for without them, you’d have to drive me home.
13. Twice now I’ve escaped great peril with a high dollar videocamera in my hand - ONE while break-dancing in the Atlantic Ocean, and TWO while running from a remotely-uncontrolled moving truck. You can better believe I’m always looking over my shoulder for the inevitable number THREE.
14. I celebrated my 21st birthday out to sea.
15. One of my wife’s nicknames for me is ‘Professor’ - a strange thing to call a guy who barely scraped through high school.
16. I can turn a three word story description into ninety seconds of fairly powerful television - but ask me to change the oil in the lawnmower and I go all Caveman.
17. I’ve committed much of Jim Morrison’s drunken poems to memory and used to test microphone levels with laborious exhortations from the Lizard King collection. These days, I usually beatbox.
18. I knew from a young age I would one day write about my working life. Thank God I didn’t take a job cleaning septic tanks.
19. Rusty Wallace once yelled at me for shining a light on him. Eff Rusty Wallace.
20. Back in 1989, I spent several months successfully selling Beamers, Volvos and Jeep Cherokees to yuppies - despite not even knowing at the time how to spell B-M-W.
21. I’m forever grateful my two daughters were not born sons - even when the estrogen levels get so bad in my house that I have to excuse myself to the garage and gorge on warm beer and beef jerky.
22. I’m usually neat and most always distracted, gregarious in a stand-offish way, capable of both comedy and callousness. I’m apathetic yet weirdly ambitious. More than anything, I’m a hard guy to buy a Hallmark card for.
23. I married Up. Way UP.
24. I can shoot a house fire with my eyes closed, move through a crowded ballroom like a master assassin and knock on a widow’s door while still feeling pretty good about myself.
25. I’m not at all upset with Michael Phelps.