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2005-12-27 - 9:24 a.m.

202 Things With Nicim

you've been very patient and now, it's time for the unveiling, finally, of the long awaited and highly touted and subtly suggestive and possibly overrated (as my rambling often are in my own prerambles, all humility and modesty aside, honesty will out) new and improved 202 Things based on the wonderful 101 Things that Nicim provided... little did she know when she was constructing her own personal and private Nicim's 101 Things that I might come along and deconstruct myself with her words as a guide... can we call this a new form of literary impressionism?... come on, if we think up a cleverly sophisticated enigmatic catch-phrase, it's bound to catch on and become a force in our culture, like Andy Warhol's soup cans or Dali's Dada.... ....

boy, do I have an ego or what?...

definitely a lot of what...

I promise I'll be good J

is that the weight the Beatles were referring to on Abbey Road?... ok, back to the task at hands... I also promise I'll be comfortable rambling on because I trust my dear Nicim to beat me over the head with a wet noodle or even a pointed stick if I get too far out of line because she knows I mean no harm and never quite know where my rambles might go once I started trusting somebody to care enough to read them as if they make some sense... so I might, at some future point, find myself saying well you see, what I meant was..." and trying very hard to keep a straight face as she laughs at my pas faux or inadvertent literary hemorrhages...

no really, I promise I'll be good J

cuz now we're gonna do:

202 Things with Nicim (Part One)

1. I was born in the evening.
I don't know what time of day I was born, which, alas, makes me an enigma to astrologers too (as if I'm not already enough of an enigma) and negates any real detailed chance for me to guide my life by astrological charts, as if I would (not to knock astrology, but I write my own book if you haven't noticed already)... I still love gazing at the stars and planets letting them talk to me... I was adopted and the paperwork of my original birth may have been destroyed but I couldn't find out due to courts that locked up the records... beyond curiosity, it's a real pain when doctors ask for family medical history and my answer is "none"... also could cost more if I want life insurance...
2. I was the first living child of my parents who had lost several before me, including one that was born dead. Her name was Carolyn. I have no idea where she was buried.
further proof that you were and continue to be a blessing to the world... I have no idea about biological family and adopted families would never talk about their history (like it was some big secret or something, but that's how they were, ashamed or just reticent for whatever reason about sharing any personal details... a third father did provide me with three distant older step brothers (two were adults by the time I met them, but I used to tell stories about them because they sounded like interesting people and it gave me something to talk about when other people talked about their families)... the oldest created the first commercially sold HTML product and you can find him at his company, Brooknorth... he lives in Halifax... the next oldest lives in Maine on a lake because he loves to fish and he writes poetry... the youngest, who's about 10 years older than me, was a social worker for years in NYC... they occasionally took me to ballgames or shows as a kid and were really cool people, but my lack of bonding with family spilled over to them too (children learn what they live... I was always the adopted step child and hearing from parents that they should have left me at the hospital once too often soured me to keeping in touch with anyone... I just walked away from the negativity and judgments of the older folk and got lost in my own life and I suppose the younger family, who experienced the same odd adults I did, sorta did the same a variety of ways)... ironically, it was a referral to this diary just last week from a google search (that is in the explore-in-more-depth file) somebody did for the name of the youngest's daughter that lead me to the links I'm including here in this #2... synchronicities are fun...
3. I had chicken pox when I was 6 months old. My mother force fed me water and I have never been able to tolerate the taste of tap water.
I had most of the major childhood diseases before I can remember having any of them... must have been traumatic for a single adopted mother close to forty, but she had her mother do much of the care-and-feeding part of my baby-hood...

I grew up on NYC tap water which is purported to be some of the cleanest water in the world... I took for granted that everybody in the world had fresh clean water right from the tap until I was a teenager and went away for summers... now I filter (used to double filter, but have gotten lazy because of the usually cluttered kitchen) and bottle a few dozen 20 ounce water bottles a week... I drink a lot of water...
4. Two years ago I found Fiji water and for the first time I drink water! (is it the taste or the cute bottles?)
wow, staying healthy without water?... surprise, medical science and health experts are wrong again... I think I have the capacity to bloat easily because I've always drank a heck of a lot of water... I used to lose 10-12 pounds on long runs (once dropped 15 pounds), maybe I'm part camel... I just refill Sam's Club bottles with filtered tap water cuz it fits into my existential (cheap) lifestyle...
5. I have one sister, 21 months younger, and we are complete and absolute opposites in looks, demeanor, and attitude. We havent spoken for ten years.
eeek, you are beautiful, kind, happy, and positive... hopefully she's learned a thing or two along the way... it's never too late...

I rambled on about siblings, but I can always find something more to say about anything, even without your wonderful inspiration (you just make it so much easier because knowing someone cares makes thinking about the details of the life I've experienced infinitely better)... I don't think any of the older brothers were like me, but then, I didn't really know them well... I liked what I knew of them though, but by the time I was grown enough to seek them out, I was burnt out on the whole family experience (or lack thereof as I saw it) and as two of them did before me, left home for places far away (they moved to California for college, actually, the middle one went out to live with the older one for high school, I ran away to the Army and seldom really looked back of my own free will)... the amazing thing was that googling their surname brought up tons of sites to explore but then, with the oldest having been called the father of HTML (as I mentioned earlier) on occasion and all of them techie types with post masters degree educations (good schools too, I recall Cooper Union, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, NYU...I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised)... now I need even more time to browse (laughing at my insatiability) to explore the pages of goggled sites their name brought up...
6. When I was 12 I beat up the son of the local sheriff for picking on my sister. He wore a cape and thought he was Superman
she beat up Superman when she was twelve!... that's how I'll introduce you to friends... hi, this is Nici and she beat up Superman when she was 12... as for me, I was never in a physical fight... I've wrestled in my work a lot though... I worked in a place that used corporal punishment and hated it, so I found a way out... outside of work, I was hit a few times, but once I was too drunk to know it (I found out the next day that the guy didn't like his me cuz his sister sat on my lap and he hit me when I offered to shake his hand)... and then there was Toronto - an abusive relations where I was the abused... a lot of full force open handed slaps and hair pulling over the course of a year or so... I hit back twice in Toronto and it still haunts me deeply... I'm definitely not a typical boys will be boys type of boy...
7. Every time I go into the woods I get poison ivy, but I still go into the woods.
I've never had poison ivy or oak or sumac or anything that I recall... I have had mosquito attacks on occasion... and been stung by a jellyfish a few times... I don't recall ever getting stung by anything else... or snake bitten, for that matter... a dog once nipped my knee, but barely broke the skin... I love the woods...
8. My parents sent me to Red Cross swimming lessons at the local pool when I was five. I was afraid to put my head in the water.
I learned to swim at Brooklyn Day Camp... I was seven or eight, I think... they had some great counselors there... I sometimes had to be pulled out of the water with a big hook when my counselors didn't want to get wet... it was a big place, a lot of grounds and right near the ocean so lots of sand too, ball fields, all sorts of activities, and my favorite time was free time cuz they had at least a hundred free arcade machines lined up against the walls of the big lunchroom... the roots of a video game junkie are uncovered...
9. As a teenager I was on the swim team during the summer months. Three years in a row I swam 100 miles. Thats 3200 lengths of the pool.
I preferred running for endurance to swimming... in the pool I liked being under water most of the time... except when I was jumping off the diving board... note that I did not say diving... I would not exactly call what I did diving even when I did go in head first... though I remember that did get a decent jackknife down pat... I clowned around a lot, too much so to actually learn to flip or anything else...
10. When I was a child I wasnt allowed to get dirty.
when I was a little child I had minimal supervision and no attention to detail... nobody would have noticed if I was dirty or whatever... I'd hang out at the schoolyard or a park or a strip mall or a friend's house after school, often eat dinner at friends or grab something whenever I got home which was usually shortly after dark, then go straight to my room or into the shower if I wanted to... sometimes something was left for me to warm up, but I didn't like the cooking most of the time so that stopped, which was ok because I liked cooking for myself... there was never much conversation in those households... they were TV zombies, usually asleep in front of the TV when I got home...
11. I have never broken a bone but I had to wear bedroom slippers to my Confirmation because I cracked my little toe against a bookcase.
I broke bones in my fingers and hands a few times from falls before I was ten years old, but nothing else... at least not yet...
12. Four weeks after I began working on this entry, I broke my big toe. Karma?
I hope not... I did say not yet (and try to grin my way to safety)...
13. I am an atheist, but believe all living things have a life essence which recycles.
the internet often categorizes me as a Pagan, more frequently a Zoroastrian n---- Pagan in those tests I've taken, but if I were to pick a theological category I suppose I'd be mostly agnostic, if not pure agnostic... I know what I do not know and am comfortable accepting ignorance, as comfortable as my insatiable curiosity will allow... I find no need in me to create illusions about how life came about or what happens after death, though I enjoy fictional explorations of the infinite possibilities from time to time... as close as I come to a universal explanation or theory of everything is that there's probably a fundamental sub-atomic energy (that might have no material mass as we can perceive it) and runs through everything and sometimes such energies have consciousness (as we do) and perhaps sometimes there's just energy without consciousness or sentience or awareness of it's own existence, but even that's just conjecture... in my more romantic moments I call it the energy of the eternal infinity... it's romantic and comforting to think that there's a connective bond of some sort throughout all of the energy that has some form of infinite and eternal awareness beyond our grasp at this time, but if not, that's ok too...

as John Lennon wrote (perhaps I paraphrase), life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans and I believe that... I live the moment for the moment is all I can experience at the moment... I bring memories into the moment to color in the background and built the consciousness that I can call me so I can share me with others... whatever happens in the next moment during life or after this body stops breathing is a moment I can not live until it is this moment, so most times I think it is a waste of this moment to focus too much energy on it...

many would label me atheist because I do not believe the holy books mankind uses in some power-trippy way to control themselves and others were written by or are the words of any single entity... I think it would be very sad if a conscious being created this mess of a human race, especially if that conscious being was omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent because if I were such a being and gave my creation a book of instructions, I'd surely write it in words that were not full of double-meanings and hypocritical guidelines... I think the history we are aware of demonstrates that the holy books have created more unrest and death and irresponsible behavior than here might have been without the books... I think all the holy books were likely written by people who feared life, death, the unknown, the potential chaos and anarchy that is the universe and all animals live under and those people (like many today who will do anything for the illusion of control) could not rest without creating some sort of explanation for existence and rules by which to live... given the egocentric approaches mankind has exhibited in philosophies, sciences, and daily lives, it seems that same egocentric approach created human religions...

lucky #13, huh?...
14. I do not like hotdogs, and never have.
and perhaps as a conscious effort to demonstrate most effectively my imperfections, contrary to my instinct for self-preservation, I love hot dogs... New York City street vendors loved to see me coming... hot dogs, knishes, pretzels, chestnuts... sometimes look so pathetic on the street that the vendors took pity on me and handed me a freebie as they were closing up to go home... comfort foods of my earliest youth...
15. I hated steak until I was 19 years old and was introduced to the concept of rare and broiled and Filet Mignon.
smiling at the similarity, same here... the fat and gristle would set off my gag reflex (same with the veins in poultry and all it took was the smell of fish for me to want to puke as a child)... I learned to like cheeseburgers, but only if there was at least as much cheese as burger and dripping with ketchup and friend onions and four times as much bun as there was ground beef... and hot dogs were not meat to my taste buds, besides, they were smothered in sweet fried onions and mustard and ketchup and again, big soft buns...

and then I had the means to order a filet mignon at one of the five star restaurants in NYC and I learned that steak did not have to be contaminated by unchewable fat and gristle... I've always liked melt in my mouth foods (unless I'm eating a crunchy snack) and while I seldom eat steak anymore, for a few years it was the only steak I'd even think of eating... I'd since learned that sometimes ribeye can be prepared well, but I will usually choose something other than meat to eat when available...
16. When my daughter was 13 I dated a guy who didnt eat red meat. She has not eaten red meat since.
for more than a decade I lived as a vegetarian except for cheese and shellfish... for about three years I lived as a Vegan, strict on ever level (shopping as a Vegan is a tedious and expensive job that can only be called a labor of love and a lifestyle)... poverty forced me to reconsider my philosophical and ethical decisions and I've come to a place where my omnivorous instincts are allowed to indulge in the cultural food supply and as long as I am alone, I am comfortable with that...
17. I love to play cards. Hearts, Spades, Pinochle, Canasta, Gin, Hand and Foot. And I usually win.
again, I smile at the similarity... as a teenage, my girlfriend and I started a game of five million rummy... Spades is the longest-time favorite for me I think, but any game is welcome... she was so devoted to me that even after I about tripled her score and passed the million mark, she wanted to continue and would pull out the cards every night because the game, the sharing, the challenge to get better and hope to eventually beat me more often made if fun for her and her enthusiasm made if fun for me... I do not always win these days, mostly, I think, because my competitive drive is hardly noticeable and I probably lose more than I win (I don't keep track anymore) because the game is more fun than the outcome...
18. I like to win at everything, but I wont cheat.
I enjoy winning, but not as much as playing and I will cheat in sports video games when playing by myself just to change the parameters and see how it effects the stats, though I am not sure that is cheating in the purest sense of the word... I see no satisfaction in trying to win against someone else by tricking them or cheating, in fact, I think cheating to win is cheating myself out of the pleasure of the game...
19. I do not know how to play Poker.
ah, a new game to learn then... I play some poker... at age 11-13 a group of friends (there's one now) would get together every weekend and play seven card stud while listening to music and exploring, well, exploring the world of snack foods and soft drinks and stuff our parents would not have wanted to know about... many a first time experience happened for us on those long journeys through the night... I still feel bad about feeding the tootsie roll to the Oscar (fish) though...
20. In the winter I drink a lot of tea, with cream and sugar, like the Europeans.
I drink tea when in the mood, but not a lot... sometimes sugar, no cream... when I have a head cold, I drink hot tea... in the summer, I prefer iced coffee to iced tea, ideally the coffee is frigid, sweet, and creamed...
21. Indian Chai, discovered during my trips there, is my favorite and the easiest to prepare can be found at Trader Joes.
I wonder about Chai tea and whether I've ever had any... somehow I don't think the teabags labeled Chai Tea is what everyone means when they say they love Chai Tea... something new for me to learn...
22. Im afraid of heights, but do it anyway.
I love the feeling of falling and just might choose, if I was to be somehow given a choice, to die by freefall from fifty or so miles up... with oxygen to stay conscious, though the G-force might knock me out before I hit the ground anyway... I love looking down from planes and tall buildings, though and though sometimes I can feel a panic and grip for a handhold, I don't seem to have what most would call a fear of heights...
23. I didnt ride a roller coaster until I was 36 years old. Now I love them.
I've loved roller coasters from my first trip on one which was The Cyclone at Coney Island sometime in my early teens when I started going places on my own and with friends... I road more than a few several dozen times in a non-stop race back to the entrance before they were open to the public, Kracken at Sea World being the most recent one... I'm still looking for one that'll make me want to take a breather before the next ride...
24. I was bullied in grade school by the daughter of the town doctor. She finally stopped when I fought back, threw her on the ground, got her in a leg lock and pulled out her hair. She admitted later that she always believed nobody liked her. Gee, ya wonder why!
I had no specific bully aiming at me through school, though I got involved a few times when bullies would pick on kids in front of me and I guess I was big enough or somehow made a point well enough to frustrate the bully because I was only hit once and every other time the bully walked away, sometimes acting angry and sometimes laughing at me and probably trying to figure out just what happened...
25. My best friend in grade school was a boy. I caught cold easily and did not go outside for recess. We played chess instead, starting in 2nd Grade.
I had a different best friend every year, sometimes a boy and sometimes a girl... I started feeling serious crushes (I'll forever insist I was deeply madly in love) in nursery school and had a new object of my affections most years through school, though one in particular lasted longer than any of the others, right through to early high school... I'd love to find here again today to see what kind of person she's become (and see how strongly the grade school fantasies would revive)... most of all I'd love to find my nursery school lover...

one of these days I'll have my stuff out of storage and many find the stuff I wrote back then (though I am fairly certain most of it was thrown out by the parents when I went into the Army even though the boxes were hermetically sealed and labeled loudly)...
26. Thinking back on him I think he was gay, but he has never come to a class reunion so Ive never seen him since.
I've never been to a class reunion and am not sure there've been more than a couple... my schools did not do the usual Spring Dances and Proms and other events that I read about happening outside of NYC... my guess is that of the thousands (somewhere around 6000) who attended my high school, less than a few hundred might attend a reunion if that many... but I'd love to find a few hundred specific people I knew well to see who they've become...
27. I have never felt funny around gay men or women, but I dont like queens the look-at-me in-your-face part of the gay world.
I am very comfortable with all members of the gay community unless they are heterophobes or just plain negative people (but the same is true of anyone prejudiced or negative)... though I've only seen it once, I think Angel was my favorite character in Rent... when the attitude facade comes down for anyone who lives a flamboyant lifestyle or has a larger-than-life personality, there's a vulnerability and honesty that I love and respect...
28. I love ice cream, but rarely eat it in the winter.
Winter is extremely short and rather warm down here, so i love and eat ice cream year 'round... chocolate and vanilla, mostly... with fudge... and whipped cream...
29. I chill easily, and carry a sweater or jacket with me at all times for restaurants, stores, and other overly air-conditioned environments.
except when I am sick, I seldom carry any sort of outerwear, even though it has been known to drop below sixty degrees around here from time to time (did I just stick my tongue out?... no, I wouldn't do that)... I don't generally chill easily, unless I am very sleepy and fighting to stay awake in an air-conditioned place...
30. My dream is to live on a beach and never have to spend a winter in the cold again.
I hope you buy an island or at least a beach house in the tropics and I have the ability to visit... or if I buy the island I'll build you a guest house... one of my pre-teen friends, as I mentioned earlier, lives that dream in Barbados (I highly recommend their Bed and Breakfast), though they've talked about coming back to the states in recent years simply because they miss the diversity and independence (if you can't get away from a vacation lifestyle, it can get monotonous too)... hmmmm, maybe I should offer them a few months off by offering to live there and be host of their B&B for a while...

read on to part two of 202 Thing with Nicim

(just let me know you were here)

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