January 24, 2007

five things you might not know about me

I got chain-memed awhile back by Joe McCarthy with this "five things you don't know about me" business. Joe probably thinks I blew him off, but I was just mentally elsewhere. Sometimes life happens despite my best intentions to blog, I guess. Anyway, after some head scratching I was able to figure out a few things that maybe you don't know about me already. Actually I came up with quite a lot of things you don't know about me, but quickly decided that most of them were better left that way ;-) So in the spirit of partially open semi-transparency, here we go:

1. I once aspired to a career in musical theater. Back in the day, and I mean way back, I used to be in all the big high school and college theater productions. I spent countless hours in rehearsals, learning lines and songs, replaying original cast albums, and hanging around backstage. It seemed like a grand life filled with wildly creative people and inspiring tales, and I thought I wanted to do it professionally. Sadly, although I was pretty good fun at cast parties, I discovered that I had no particular talent for singing or dancing. So okay, I did engineering instead, and never looked back.

2. I drank water from the Charles River. Not on purpose. I used to sail in the little tech dinghys when I was at MIT. One especially lousy day with raging wind and whitecaps all over the river, a friend who was on the sailing team convinced me we should go out. The dockmaster just shook his head, he knew what was coming. I think we lasted about 5 minutes before capsizing, and we had to be towed in. This was quite a few years ago and the water was definitely fragrant and chewy, not really in a good way though.

3. I almost lost my driver's license due to my need for speed. For about a year I drove a '74 911 2.7 Targa. God I loved that car, it was so fast and tight. I got a ton of speeding tickets though, and every one of them was well deserved. If the cop said I was doing 75mph, it was more like 95, count on it. Anyway, I was pretty much uninsurable and they nearly pulled my license, so I had to sell off the beast and get a nice sensible Rabbit. I still miss that car.

4. I was on MSNBC with my ex-CEO Carly Fiorina. Well, I was walking behind her when they were shooting some B-roll of us going into an analyst meeting. But it aired a bunch of times, so it counts, right?

5. I've been to far too many concerts over far too many years. If you've been a loyal reader you know that the fredshouse crew loves live music. But you may not know that my first concert was the Jefferson Airplane in 1970 (my dad took me, but we had to leave because it was too loud for my young ears). I was lucky enough to see one of the live Pink Floyd performances of The Wall, at Nassau Coliseum in 1980. In 1990, I was the designated adult at a New Kids On The Block concert, heh. And in 2002 I saw Steely Dan in Helsinki with a bunch of Finns from that famous paper and rubber company. As Bill Kirchen says, I ain't never had Too Much Fun.

Enough indulgent self-disclosure already. Now I'm supposed to tag five unsuspecting folks, so: Dwight Shih, Sean Ness, Gen Kanai, Alex Pang, and Rahul Sood. Don't hate, just go with it.

Posted by Gene at January 24, 2007 4:05 AM | TrackBack

Gene: thanks for playing! While you may have decided against a musical theater career trajectory, you still have managed (and are managing) to hang out with wildly creative people and inspiring tales (and I'll note that, in my experience, "you spot it, you got it" :-). Next time you're planning to go to Helsinki for a concert -- especially Steely Dan -- let me know ... maybe I can meet you there!

Posted by: Joe McCarthy at January 24, 2007 1:13 PM
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