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Thursday, October 25th, 2001

Time Event
Not Many Of You Know Most Of These
1. On my mother's side, I am the descendant of several consecutive generations of first cousins marrying.

2. When four years old I had an invisible playmate named 'My Tutor', whom I generated because I was told I was too bright to learn anything from school, and thus would need a special tutor. Ironically, My Tutor always deliberately got it wrong -- he played the part of Galileo's Simplicio in a huge number of dialogues with myself. While he'd lost his title and identity by age six, I still talk to him a lot, particularly while driving alone.

3. I was president of the high school choir, conducted a song at the spring concert, played one of the leads in the high school musical, regularly played the organ for 8 AM Sunday Mass in the town where I grew up, have been the music director and piano accompanist for two different amateur productions of Godspell, could play most of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's oeuvre on the piano when I was 17 -- and haven't lived in a house with a piano in the last twenty years.

4. Despite a very frank background in college (when the topic was more or less purely theoretical), these days I'm far too reticent about sex (even in the distant past) to put anything about it in a public list of ten things no one knows about me.

5. I have enormous difficulty organizing and remembering a set of things that must be done in the future. I have no such difficulty with things that must be done immediately -- yet I hate surprises and resent being told what to do right now.

6. I am extraordinarily bad at follow-through. I am very prone to forgetfulness and distraction about things I have said I would do. This is, by an order of magnitude, the greatest cause of distress in my life, and is possibly the greatest cause of distress in my wife's life.

7. I have an intense private jealous and defensive reaction at any news of the accomplishments of others, even my best friends, that takes real effort to suppress. There are times when this trait worries me even more than my inability to organize and set priorities for myself.

8. I spend almost no time thinking about what I want, and very little effort trying to get it. Perhaps I'm just happy, but more likely I just can't organize (#6 again).

9. If I could make equal money from all possible careers, I would have been a teacher. And I doubt I would have lasted.

10. My greatest fear -- which often reaches the level of a paralyzing terror that keeps me from any action at all -- is that I'm doing it wrong.

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