10 Facts

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Since I'm out of ideas for blog posts at the moment, I'm taking the suggestion to do a "10 Facts About Me" post.

1. I once ate so many carrots that I turned orange. I was either in elementary or intermediate school, and for some reason I didn't like eating anything else. I still love carrots, but I'm much more careful with them now...

2. I stopped growing taller when I was about eleven; my feet stopped growing when I was around seven.

3. My grandfather was both saved, and killed, by a lit cigarette. (And no, I don't mean from cancer. The first incident involved a sniper, and the second involved high explosives.)

4. My other grandfather helped design the insulation for the space capsule which carried the first chimps into space; I have a piece of the prototype in my closet. They called it a "space sandwich", according to the plate on it.

5. I live in a town which was part of the filming for Born of the Forth of July. I moved from where they filmed Places in the Heart, after moving from where they shot Pure Country, after moving from a town which became a Lifetime movie of the week.

6. I have gone to 3 universities, and never attended a single class. (MIT, Tulane, and ORU, if you're interested.)

7. My French teacher was a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto and incarceration in a concentration camp.

8. While I don't consciously remember much French, I do occasionally dream in French.

9. My original major in college was Genetic Engineering.

10. I, at various times, attended school in a toga, a death shroud and cowl, and a headpiece made to look like a Christmas tree, with a wrapped box for a skirt.

And, a bonus one:

  • 11. The city in which I attended school was the proud owner of the first failed attempts at solar power on an elementary school, as well as a high school.
  • It was the last "officially" integrated school district in the country - not a point of pride, but ironic when you consider that it was the home town of John Howard Griffin, the author of Black Like Me.
  • Until it was razed to make way for a new high school, the city had the world's oldest, continual indoor rodeo.
  • Anyone who cares to Google any of that information will discover that the aforementioned "movie of the week" dealt with a headline-grabbing homicide... one of the murderers was the checker at our grocery store; the victim was in my church youth group.

7 Chiming In:

Nicole Zoltack said...

I stopped growing taller around eleven too. I'm four foot eleven and three quarters. Why doctors would never give me that last quarter of an inch, I can't say.

Lori M. Lee said...

Wow, some very interesting things here. That first one is hilarious b/c the same thing happened with my daughter =P

Michael Seese said...

OK, I have to know...

How does one go to even one college, and not attend a class?

Josin L. McQuein said...

@ Nicole - you've got me beat by about 1/2 an inch :-P

@ Lori - weird, right? It's not something you really think about (other than maybe staining your hands from contact), but it's definitely possible and strange to explain.

@ Michael - I can beat that -- I was on the Dean's list at MIT

*runs away cackling while maintaining the air of mystery*

Michael Seese said...

Such a tease ...

Maybe I'll have to NOT tell you about the trip I took to Paris with my ex-girlfriend. (As in, we were ex- at the time we planned the trip.)

Anita Saxena said...

Wow, what a colorful life. Would loved to hear the story about your grandfather and the cigarette. Happy Holidays!

Josin L. McQuein said...

@ Michael - I hear Paris is bad about that. ;-)

@ Anna - During WWII (Africa), my grandfather was on patrol at night. They'd been told not to smoke, as the snipers in the region had taken to aiming for the glowing end of the cigarettes in order to make a head strike at night. He lit up by habit, holding the cigarette at his side, and a sniper fired, assuming the low-to-the-ground position was indicative of a man in a crouch. He only sustained a hand wound.

Fast forward a few decades to when my grandfather worked at a plant which made explosives. This was WAY before things like cell phones, and they didn't like using radios (presumably because of the danger of setting off charges by remote). Instead, the signal to ignite charges in the testing area was a lit cigarette, which would tell the spotter to relay the message to detonate.

One of my grandfather's co-workers got it into his head to play a practical joke and told him there was a problem with something in the detonation area. He wasn't thinking about what he was doing, and this person lit a cigarette while waiting for the joke to pay off. The spotter saw the cigarette, relayed a message to detonate the placed charges, and the concussion of being inside a closed space with so many explosives killed my grandfather.

Saved and killed by a lit cigarette. If you saw it in a movie, you likely wouldn't believe it.

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