Today being Monday, I had a plan to put together my next blog post and while that is still technically true it certainly isn’t the post that I had in mind. Thanks to The Dad Column, I find myself nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award. Even though I’m pretty sure I don’t get a trophy for this (although I can get a badge of a trophy), it is very humbling to receive the nomination after having read through the intended criteria for nominating someone. These cover things like: the quality of the writing; uniqueness of topics covered; love displayed in the words written; and, or bloggers who bring something special to your life whether everyday or once in a while. Needless to say this is quite strong feedback for someone who expected their blog to amount to nothing more than me screaming into the void.
However as Peter Parker learns, with great power comes great responsibility and now that I know my words have the power to tick such lofty ideals, I am beholden to uphold the responsibilities of the award. Chief among these is to share 7 interesting facts about myself (or in my case, just 7 facts because 7 interesting facts presumes I’m sufficiently interesting to fulfil that quota) and also to nominate another round of deserving bloggers who meet the criteria. So without further ado, here are 7 potentially interesting facts about myself which will likely form a better “about me” page than my actual “about me” page (which I created on the first day of this blog’s existence when I was still running on ultimate noob level rather than simply noob level).
I have a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. As a result I have a very strong sci-fi nerd streak running just under the surface (Star Wars, Dr Who, Battlestar Gallactica, Star Gate and Star Trek are all good things). I also tend to over engineer things around the house. The best example of this was when I was banned from doing the paper mache piñata for my eldest son’s 5th birthday party because I had made the piñata for his 4th birthday party so impregnable that it took 7 kids about 20 minutes with hockey sticks to get into it.
I was elected school captain in high school after giving a speech in which I wore a “Vote for Pedro,” shirt (the same as the one that Napoleon Dynamite wears during his famous dance routine) and told jokes. I figured that everyone would just vote for the popular guy anyway (which wasn’t me) so I thought I’d just have some fun with it, give it a whirl and see what happened. As it happened this was a winning strategy and the teacher’s were not overly impressed that I had made a mockery of our school’s democratic process.
I used to play softball quite competitively (I haven’t played at all now for 6 years) and managed to make the Australian under 17’s team back in the day. I don’t mention this often because of the inevitable conversation that follows about whether softball is or is not in fact “a girl’s sport.”
I dislocated my shoulder in my final year of high school during the school cross country. In addition to the school captain I was also one of the house vice-captains for the sports houses and was wearing some silly outfit of an oldschool aviator hat (you know the sort with wool on the inside, ear flaps and is made of leather on the outside) combined with fairy wings and aviator sun glasses. I then thought it would be funny and a great laugh for the assembled school body to sprint to the front of the pack at the start of the race (which started by running across the oval in front of the rest of the school) and then tripping on purpose and falling to the back. The plan went perfectly until I got up post deliberate trip and saw my arm hanging at a grotesque skewed angle. Suffice to say I immediately regretted that decision.
I’ve completed a marathon. Admittedly I didn’t run the entire thing (I walked the last 8 km because the cramping was unbearable but that stage) but I finished it. I completed it in 4h 16min. My target was 4h or less. This remains unfinished business for me and completing another marathon is my ultimate goal for my recovery from my motorcycle accident (which you can read about here).
I once required heavy grade stitches in my left hand (see above) where I sliced my hand open on my mate’s sheet metal fence on Australia Day (January 26th, Australia’s national day). He was having a pool party, I was running late and when I arrived everyone was already out the back in the pool with beers and snags (BBQ sausages) and the front door was locked. Not one to be deterred so easily I decided the solution was obvious, I’d just jump the fence. I climbed up easy enough and as I sat on top of his 2m high sheet metal fence about to jump off I realised that I had my hand right on the edge of the sheet where it met the gate. Close call, I moved it in closer to my bum and jumped. The pain was instant, in my foot. I’d landed on a rock and proceeded to hop around holding my foot in pain. It was at this point that I noticed the very large and very deep gash in my left hand where it had gotten caught up on the folded piece of sheet that covered the edge to avoid cuts to people walking through the gate (not climbing over it). Since it was protruding slightly above the level of the fence my hand got caught on it as I jumped with all my body weight pulling down on it. It went deeper than the nerves but thankfully missed them all. There was a lot of blood. So much blood….. and Mum and Dad got a call that I was in the Emergency Room only about 15 minutes after I’d left home. That party was a great success for me.
I once spent an entire week in hospital on a feeding tube (think hose in your nose) because I had swallowed a chicken bone. I remember it well, it was the school holidays and I had to spend them all in the hospital. Everyday the ear, nose and throat specialist would come around to check on me to see if that was the day to go home and everyday (for a week) it wasn’t. I was a terrible patient, a sullen and moody 15 (soon to be 16) year old. The reason I was so mopey was because I had had to have a camera put down my throat to check the damage to my throat, I wasn’t allowed anything by mouth because of the risk of infection (I had perforated my oesophagus in a similar fashion to a cat scratch) so I was being drip fed a sort of porridge solution through a hose in my nose and I was constant IV antibiotics. I felt horrible, my skin was really oily and smelly from the antibiotics and to make matters worse I was supposed to have been going on a date that weekend with the girl who was my crush at the time. So there I was a bundle of melancholic teenage angst and moodiness, sitting in the corner playing Nirvana “Come As You Are,” on my ukulele. What no one had told me though was that had my perforated oesophagus become infected it would have been life threatening. I didn’t learn that little chestnut until the day I discharged. Had I known that, I would have been slightly easier to deal with (only slightly).
Right so that is my 7 facts, as you may be able to gather I’m a little bit accident prone at times. Now onto my nominations for the award, I’m not sure if these people have already been nominated but I’ll risk it anyway because their work deserves to be shared:
Got any questions about any of my misadventures masquerading as facts (or similar stories of your own)? If so, please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about it and see how our experiences compare. Also you can find me over on twitter here or on Instagram here. Lastly if you found this post (or any of the linked posts) enjoyable or informative and would like to subscribe to get updates when new content is posted, you can do so using the follow button.