The threes of me

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog over the five years of its existence know that I’m not a fan of memes. You know, those little questionnaires or lists that are intended to give you something to write about on days when you can’t come up with something to write about (when I have those days, I — duh! — simply don’t write), and with which you’re supposed to “tag” your blogosphere buddies so that they, too, can participate in the merriment. (I’m not big on suggesting to other people what they ought to be writing about, any more than I’m a fan of being told what to write.)

I’m not, however, a total stick in the mud on the meme issue. Once in a blue moon, someone will tag me on a meme, and I’ll do it either because I like the person or the topic or both.

In this case, my friend Nathan tagged me with this list on Facebook. I enjoyed reading Nathan’s list, so I thought I’d return the favor. Ever the iconoclast, I’m doing the meme here rather than on Facebook, because this is where I write. And you can breathe easy — I’m not going to tag anyone, though you’re certainly welcome to pick up the ball and run with it if you’re thus inclined.

So, onward.

Three names by which I’m known.
1. Michael. This should be obvious, given that it’s my first name.
2. The Mic Guy. One of my chorus mates hung this one on me a dozen or so years ago, and it’s stuck so resolutely that I’m now using it as the brand for my voiceover business.
3. Uncle Swan. If you’re here, you know.

Three jobs I have had.
1. Receiving clerk. The year and a half that I was between colleges, I worked in a drug store. For most of the time, I was a sales clerk in the electronics department (we called it the camera department back in those pre-PC, cell phone, and iPod days). But for about six months, I ran the store’s warehouse, because the job was a prerequisite for management and someone above me was foolish enough to think that I might eventually aspire to managing a drug store. That person was sadly mistaken.
2. Radio advertising salesman. In my first job out of college, I worked in outside sales for a country music radio station. This will be hilarious to those of you who know that my affection for country music ranks somewhere between my fondness for serial pedophiles and my love for flesh-eating staphylococcus.* Right as I was arriving, the station was sold to some faceless corporation. One of the new owners’ first actions entailed firing half of the sales staff, yours truly included. In my case, the move was a relief — I sucked at advertising sales, and as for country music… I think we’ve covered that.
3. Radio Shack manager. In need of gainful employment following the redneck radio debacle, I wandered into my local Radio Shack store and filled out an application. (After all, I hold a university degree in broadcast communications.) Within a week, I had a job. Within three weeks, I was an assistant manager. After nearly a year of refusing promotion opportunities, I let them make me a store manager because they were going to fire me if I said “no” again. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about Radio Shack.

* Nathan, who happens to be an actual card-carrying microbiologist, informs me that the flesh-eating bacteria is actually a strain of streptococcus, not staphylococcus. Here at SSTOL, we never allow scientific accuracy to get in the way of a good joke. As long as it’s not olympiaducoccus, it’s close enough for me.

Three places where I have lived. (Because I grew up in a military family, I could easily make this “Ten places where I have lived.” But in the spirit of the meme, I’ll pick three. And I’ll skip Hawaii, since I’ve written about that fairly recently.)
1. Iraklion (or Heraklion, if that’s how you roll), Crete, Greece. We were there for two years in the early 1970s. Lovely place, warm and friendly people, great food. Those sand fleas are murder, though.
2. Angeles City, Luzon, the Philippines. Another two-year stint for Uncle Sam, somewhat later in the Disco Decade. We arrived shortly after local despot Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. We left just as the Vietnam War was ending. Strange times indeed.
3. Abilene, Texas. I spent a decade there one year. At least, it felt that way. The most hellacious place I’ve ever lived, and there isn’t even a close runner-up. If you’re from Abilene, I apologize for airing your dirty laundry in public, but… deep in your heart, you know I speak the truth.

Three favorite drinks.
1. Cream soda. The good stuff — Thomas Kemper, Virgil’s, et al. — when I can get it on sale, but even the supermarket brand suffices in a pinch.
2. Vanilla Coke. Are you sensing a theme here?
3. The vanilla milkshakes Jack in the Box used to serve when I was in high school, before Jack botched the recipe and turned them into syrupy swill.

Three TV Shows that I watch.
1. Burn Notice. Hopefully they won’t have to stop production due to star Jeffrey Donovan’s recent DUI arrest. The world needs more Bruce Campbell. More Gabrielle Anwar isn’t a bad thing, either.
2. Chopped. I’ve been a devotee of competitive cooking shows since the original Iron Chef was on the air. Food Network’s latest entry in the genre is more of the same, with a fun twist or two. Plus, how could you not love a show called Chopped?
3. In Plain Sight. Who knew that Albuquerque was so exciting?

Three places I have been. (This, I suppose, as contrasted with places where I’ve lived for any length of time.)
1. Taipei, Taiwan. My family went on vacation there while we were in the Philippines. More people crammed into less space than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, aside from Tokyo. Beware the lunatic taxi drivers.
2. Athens, Greece. We made several jaunts to Athens during our years in Crete. Aside from San Francisco, the most visually compelling city I’ve ever visited.
3. Cities I’ve only seen from their respective airports: Paris, France; Rome, Italy; Frankfurt, Germany; Anchorage, Alaska; Agana, Guam. But at least I can honestly say that I’ve been there.

Three of my favorite foods.
1. Sushi. Among my top choices: unagi, tako, saba, ebi, tobiko, and when I can find the good stuff in season, otoro.
2. Mashed potatoes. Sometimes, the simplest things in life are best.
3. Chili — preferably my own, served with rice and plenty of hot sauce.

Three things to which I’m looking forward.
1. Pat Fraley’s workshop on voice acting for video games two weeks from Saturday. I had a terrific time in a workshop with Pat earlier this year, and am thrilled to have another chance to study with him.
2. The long-anticipated completion of a quartet of commissions that artist Darryl Banks is drawing for my Bombshells! gallery. Each depicts one of the four key female characters in Will Eisner’s legendary comic series, The Spirit. Darryl’s work on the first two pieces in the series has been stunning.
3. A manned landing on Mars, and a cure for cancer. When I dream, I dream big.

Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Blogosphere, Listology, My Home Town, Reminiscing, SwanStuff

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