There's something going around Facebook right now, urging people to write 25 random things about themselves. I have too diverse a group of "friends" to put all of these things in there, but I thought it was interesting enough to pull together a list.
So here's my list, which I suspect most of you know already.
1. I’m an Eagle Scout.
2. My favorite color is green.
3. If I weren’t a trombonist, I’d want to be a pastry chef.
4. I’ve entered cooking competitions by creating my own recipes, and was even a national semifinalist, one of 30, to find an Anniversary cookie for the Mrs. Fields chain. It had to have a goofy name, and so I called it the Chocolate Mint Explosion cookie—dark chocolate with white chocolate mint chips in it. It’s darn tasty!
5. I’ll try just about anything to eat. This applies to everything but olives and grapefruit and the Indian spice fenugreek. They’re all bridges too far!
6. I almost was a Marine. I won a job with the President’s Own Marine Band in Washington, D.C., but couldn’t take the job because of an old medical condition that didn’t affect me at all at the time of the audition. I’m glad I didn’t get it!
7. I was class president of my class, three of my four years in high school.
8. I’m a big fan of Reese’s peanut butter cup Blizzards.
9. On my mom’s side, we can trace some of our descendants all the way back to Charlemagne. On my dad’s side? Peasants, though there is a lake named after my Grandmother’s maiden name which marks where our family from Finland settled. You can see it on a map of Michigan, which is pretty darn cool. Oh, and I’m a mix of Finn, Swede, English, French, Welsh and Scottish. I’m a mutt!
10. I own a portable sawmill, and a woodshop that has power tools that belong in professional cabinet shops. I tend to embrace things that I’m passionate about with everything I’ve got, and rarely buy the cheap stuff. That’s both good and bad.
11. My house looks like a Pottery Barn catalog.
12. My favorite place to vacation is the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. of Michigan. In the summer, that is. I’d love to have a cabin up there sometime in my life.
13. I didn’t’ have my first kiss until I was 21.
14. I’ve taken a cooking class in Bangkok, Thailand, and make a mean chicken sate!
15. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. All the fun of Christmas, without the madness of presents.
16. I love words, of all kinds. I love learning about them, expanding my vocabulary, and it always bugs me when I can’t properly spell a word, of if I don’t know what a word means. I’ll look them up in a dictionary most of the time.
17. My favorite authors are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein and Thomas Merton. And Shakespeare, and F. Scott Fitzgerald...and a lot more.
18. When I spend time with my nieces and uncles, I try to act towards them the way I remember my uncles were towards, plus the way I wish they had been towards me. I love them all dearly and think they’re the greatest kids on the planet.
19. I drink far too much Coke Zero to be healthy.
20. I love photography and can easily get lost in time when I start taking pictures of interesting things on vacation.
21. I tell people who are traveling all over the world where to go eat. When my brass quintet goes on tour, I’m the guy in charge of sniffing out the best places to grab a bite to eat. Basically, I’m a foodie.
22. I love the science of food and have all kinds of science books that talk about what goes into creating recipes.
23. I’d love to have a food business some day—either a chocolate company, or a bakery. Probably the former though.
24. I fell in love with snorkeling in Puerto Rico last year, and would love to learn how to dive. Traveling to the Caribbean and doing some diving in coral reefs would be a fantastic vacation for me.
25. I want to go to Paris several times before I die. Of course the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame would be interesting, but they’d just be a side excursion from the main event: trying food in the best food city on the planet.