If you know me you might know that I own 200 Sinatra records. You might know that during high school I bought a copy of Teach Yourself Welsh and fiddled with it for a while. You might know that when I was little I would open the encyclopedia and re-type entries in it, just because I liked to type. (I am the fastest two-fingered typer you’ll meet. I look at the keyboard as I go – not the page or screen – but know when I’ve made a flub.) You might know that between 1984 and 1992 I had part-time jobs in Chicago (a record store in the Gold Coast, a gelateria at Clark & Roslyn, an American Eagle Outfitters in the Century Mall) and Houston (Blockbuster). You might know that in Houston in 1991 I hired an Egyptian man to give me Arabic lessons on Saturday mornings. You might know that my mom taught at the high school I attended and I took longer-than-necessary routes between certain classes in order not to walk past her own classroom. You might know that I used a motorcycle for transportation almost exclusively for two years or so in the early 90s.

None of these things is shameworthy.

Other things about me may not be so widely known and could be considered by some to be cause for embarrassment. I will now reveal a few of them.

  • I love fast food. The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is my favorite hamburger anywhere. At Taco Bell I like enchiritos (only if dining in) and tacos (the cheap ones, not the stuffed, wet, expensive ones). Popeyes is my fave-rave chicken. (The flavor of KFC original is good but they do something to it that causes there to be a layer of congealed snotlike stuff beneath the coating.)
  • I miss using bobby pins to clean my ears. Mama taught me to clean my ears that way but we learned during the Nixon years that bobby pins can cause ear damage or death or something so we stopped using them.
  • I know more than the average guy about lisps. I worked with a guy with a lisp and it confounded me so I read up on the subject. There are frontal (or interdental) lisps, dentalized lisps, palatal lisps…a fascinating topic.
  • When I am alone in my car I sometimes scream at drivers who do stupid things. The window is always closed when I do this so I do not want or expect anyone else to hear me; the scream is for me, which is just as well because when I scream my voice breaks like Peter Brady’s did in that episode when, well, when his voice broke.
  • I know the names of all the members of One Direction. I can also tell you the names of the Osmond Brothers. I do not, however, know all the people in the Jackson 5 (saw ’em perform once, though), nor of the Lennon Sisters or Mills Brothers. And I couldn’t for the life of me name a single Pip.

Those are all the things I care to confess right now.