Seven Things

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Okay, I’ll play along.

I got tagged for this thing by:

  1. Carsten Book – who works harder in one day than most humans work all week
  2. John Slater – creative dude with a good sense of humor
  3. Frederic Wenzel – German engineering at its best
  4. Laura Thomson – web ninja, beer connoisseur, queen of horses

The rules:

  1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
  3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

Seven things:

  1. I played French Horn for 9 years, from 5th grade until my sophomore year in college. I chose it because my father played it in high school and it had a role in bands that drew me. It’s a great accompaniment, and most of the time you’re playing annoying middle-brass parts — but there are times when no instrument can sound quite as beautiful. Most composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky used horns for some of the most beautiful solos I’ve ever heard. Where the oboe cuts through the silence like a knife, the horn (much like the trombone) is a mellow strength that hits you with its purity of sound and depth. I loved it. I played in typical concert bands, marching bands and symphony orchestras. I’ve played in Aloha Stadium (where they host the Pro Bowl) many times, Husky Stadium in Seattle, Punahou School, Reser Stadium and a few places in Canada. I own two French Horns, one at home that I got when I was 12 years old and one that I bought off eBay five years ago but only played three times. I just like having it around.
  2. I took Japanese from 5th grade until 11th grade. I learned about 300 kanji on top of hiragana and katakana. I was able to read and speak fairly well but did not practice enough to get over the hump. When I was 12 I went to Japan with my Japanese class and got scolded by an old man in a restaurant (bar-style one with the vending machine meal tickets) for twirling my fork. I fed deer in Nara and loved it. I’ve forgotten most of my vocabulary and kanji but remember the basics and most sentence structure and grammar rules.
  3. I have been a runway model. When I was 19, I won a modeling contest in Honolulu. My mother signed up my sister Kelly for this contest — Kelly is photogenic and has actually done some commercials and ads, but me? Umm… So of course, she signs me up for this shopping mall weird modeling search. Kelly and I were selected as finalists and we had to do this weird pageant thing at Kahala Mall. Well, I wasn’t very happy but I was talked into going anyway. When I was interviewed, I said that I like to try new things and talked about my job as a TA for a 3rd-grade summer science enrichment program at the University of Hawaii Lab School — and had a tongue-in-cheek line about the children being our future. I said something funny after that but I don’t remember. Anyway, I won a $100 gift certificate, free photo shoot, and a 1-year modeling contract with an agency in Honolulu. Over the next year I did one fashion show and was on TV once then I went back to college. I didn’t particularly like the people I met and dropped it. The most memorable parts of the experience: 1) getting to use the same dressing room as some pretty hot models 2) getting my eyebrows sculpted by a photographer, which was not pleasant. Ever since, I’ve plucked my eyebrows. Poorly.
  4. I’ve had plastic surgery on my face twice. When I was a boy, I was pretty unlucky. At six, I was attacked by my neighbor’s dog, and I had to get plastic surgery to repair tears in my lower lip and chin where the dog latched on and shook me until my skin tore. At seven, I slipped off a jungle gym and bit an enormous hole in my lower lip, which paired nicely with the massive cut I opened on my chin. My mother was and still is a nurse at Straub, so I got a good doctor and am lucky that the scars are barely noticeable. She was kind enough to demand a plastic surgeon instead of having the ER doctor stitch up her little boy’s face. Twice. So if you’re unlucky enough to be that close to my face, you can still see those scars. It’d just be a little awkward.
  5. I was a professional video game player for a day. When I was 22 (I think) I entered a Counter-Strike tournament in Astoria and my team won first place. It was 5 on 5 CAL rules. We each won $100.
  6. I can speak pretty convincing pidgin English. Though I was raised to speak like my father, who is from Maryland, I also learned how to speak like my friends in Hawaii to fit in. I also learned a lot of this playing pick-up basketball games at Kipapa park, Mililani District gym, Hokuahiahi park, Whitmore gym and Punahou. In younger days I also played soccer, baseball and tennis with people who mostly spoke variations of pidgin.
  7. I learned how to play basketball correctly in about 3 months. When I was 16, I realized I had no chance of making the team at Punahou unless I learned how to play basketball correctly. I had tried out every year and didn’t make it because I had a funny jumpshot — I pushed the ball with my left thumb and shot from my shoulder. I also could not dribble very well. In the summer of 1995, after summer school, I would play 2-3 hours of pick-up ball a day and practiced drills daily. I transformed my shot, learned how to dribble with my head up, and built up strengh/speed. I made the last cut and was on the team the following winter. After averaging 12 points a game during the preseason, I mostly rode the bench behind the coach’s son that year, but I learned that if you dream it and work hard, you can accomplish anything. I’ll never forget it.

Seven harassees:

Well, I’ve never been too fond of following the rules. Or maybe I don’t have any friends to tag? You decide.

Wordle

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Everybody else is doing it, so:

Seems like I’m into politics lately, as many others have been.