The “five things” virus has been going around a bunch during the past month or two.  While I wasn’t specifically tagged by anyone, I’m foisting my own five things upon the biblioblogosphere (and, oh, how I loathe that word).  I’m not a terribly interesting person, so it was a struggle to come up with five things.  I tend not to share much personal information here, but I’d like to break that habit for now, since this approach is at loggerheads with my relatively open-bookish nature.  Disclaimers aside, voici!

  1. After finishing up my bachelor's degree, and feeling oh-so-special for being a Henry Rutgers Scholar and a fairly successful slacker student, I moved to rural Oregon and spent the next nine months living in a barn.  (I'd realized that a degree in linguistics and philosophy was less than marketable.)  It marked the first time I lived beyond the boundaries of New Brunswick, NJ, and sparked my love affair with the Pacific Northwest.  After living in "the barn," which towards the end of my stay became infested with some very nasty insects -- more details for those who inquire within -- I moved back to New Brunswick for seven years, and then wound up heading back to Seattle for a year.  And now I'm back east, yet again, living in Bucks Cty., PA.
  2. I was diagnosed with anterior hypopituitarism as a child, which incidentally is the same condition Gary Coleman has.  Yes, Gary "whaddyoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" Coleman.  I was fortunate to have a very good pediatrician who surmised very early on that my short stature might be due to such a condition, and I started taking growth hormone (and various other hormones) around 1st grade.  While I'm still a bit on the short side, I would never have grown an inch above four feet tall had I not been treated.  Treatment involves a daily injection of growth hormone, which I still take as an adult.  The doctors aren't sure why I have this condition, but my father's best guess is that it's due to Agent Orange poisoning -- he served two tours as an infantryman and helicopter gunner in Vietnam.
  3. I am somewhat at risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, having been treated for a few years with growth hormone that was harvested from cadaver brains, rather than synthesized which it has been since 1985 or so.  So far, only folks who were treated before 1978 have come down with CJD, but it can take upwards of 35 years before symptoms develop.  Or so says the Department of HHS report.  I'm probably safe, but it's something my wife and I will have to keep an eye on for a while yet.
  4. I met my wife on Hot or Not.  (I'm pretty sure I was the "Not.")  I paid $6 to be able to e-mail her, and it was the best $6 I ever spent.
  5. I used to be a LARPer.  If you're curious -- and who wouldn't be? -- my characters were a barbarian fighter, a highlander ranger, an elven wizard, and an ascetic monk.  Yes, I have the costumes to prove it.  No, I won't show you pictures.  (Unless you piss me off.)

Aren’t you glad you read along?