The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

A pathetic attempt at one of those Intarweb memes

I'm looking at the back of a cereal box (I will not mention which brand because I'm trying to beat the brand) and it has a list of “18 things to do before you're 18.”

I'm not sure if some of them are even possible before the age of 18, but it's a slow news day here, so I'm presenting the list with commentary.

  1. I'm not even sure what the world's biggest roller coaster is, but we have this here Intarwebs thang so we can look this up and make our own judgement about what constitutes the “world's biggest roller coaster.”

    Personally, I'm not a fan of roller coasters, and I'm disinclined to even ride the things, but I have ridden them before. Years ago, at a time when I was younger than 18, Mom and I were at Disney World. Mom, for whatever reason, decided she wanted to ride Space Mountain, which is a roller coaster in the dark.

    In the dark!

    Anyway, Mom had to drag me on the ride. I had to drag her off the ride. It wasn't an experience I want to repeat.

  2. I'm not even sure this is legal for anyone under 18.

    Oh wait, You can. Down to age 10 it seems.

    Ooooookaaaaaaaay.

    No.

    I've had friends that have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, but not me.

  3. Nope. I wasn't one for sports as a kid.

  4. Yes. An experience I will never forget, despite forgetting what the actual award was for.

    It was horrible really. I was a Drama Geek in high school, and even though I liked working behind the scenes more than being on stage, I still ended up joining the Thespian Society and the initiation involved dressing up as a clown.

    I didn't expect it to be all that bad. The initiation was the same day the administration was handing out student awards and because of my experience in working the lights in the auditorium, I had permission to skip my classes that day to work lights for all the ceremonies. So I could hide in the light booth at the head of the auditorium.

    All was going well until during one of the ceremonies, my name was called.

    Nothing like walking across a stage in a clown outfit in front of all my peers to collect some brown-nose-esque award from a class I didn't even enjoy all that much (English, as I recall).

    So yes, I won an award while wearing a clown outfit!.

  5. I had two years of clarinet in middle school, and I can still remember some fingerings (especially the transition from A to B-flat which is a bitch on a B-flat clarinet).

  6. This one is hard to decide, but I came down on the side of “yes.”

    I was a Drama Geek in high school and worked backstage during many a performance, including a “battle-of-the-bands” type show. So I kind of squeak by on this.

    Post-18, definitely. In FAU I worked in the auditorium (not to be confused with the theater across campus) and there I worked quite a few gigs. Shirley Jones kept saying “partridge-what?” Buddy Hackett was a loud-mouthed jerk, and Hal Linden stole my pen.

    Yes, the auditorium mostly catered to the older crowd in Boca Raton.

  7. Nope.

    And even if I did, I would have no idea what to say.

  8. Haven't done this either.

    And unless you live in Los Angeles (or maybe Orlando for those that might want to go the Micky Mouse Club route) I can't see anyone under 18 doing this, unless they have an obnoxious stage mom to force the issue.

  9. Well, there's Sean, best friend and author.

    Then there's Sean, friend in college and lead vocalist for our fake band.

    And there seem to be quite a few Sean Conners out there, but I haven't met one of them.

  10. During the 11th grade, I thought I came up with a neat way to very quickly calculate the Mandelbrot Set which required the taking a logarithm of a complex number, but my math teacher at the time had no clue what I was talking about, and upon reflection, I don't think it would have worked.

    I also discovered that it was not a good idea to take the keys to the high school home with me, but that's not the type of discovery they're talking about here.

  11. Yes. Several in fact. But they were all done in college, after I turned 18. When I could be arrested.

    'Nuff said.

  12. Definitely yes.

    My grandparents (both sets) grew up during The Depression and from them, I inherited a “pack rat” gene. Even as a kid I used to joke about my “collection of collections.”

    Which I still have, for the most part (except for the “wall of computers”—after a few years that became really silly as it lead to “wall of really heavy dust collectors”).

  13. No. Not all of us are Shakespeare. Or even Anthony Burgess.

  14. This one I'm claiming, even if I haven't.

    At the end of 9th grade we had to select the classes we wanted for the following year. Even at that age, I knew that public speaking was among the biggest fears of most people (something I learned in 5th (or was it 6th?) grade when forced into Toastmasters) so I thought it might be a good idea (and this was solely my idea) to sign up for both Speech and Drama.

    I should also note that I was quite shy at the time.

    It worked—I have no fear of public speaking at all.

    Fear of heights however

  15. Nope.

    In fact, I found it traumatic enough selling candy in the 4th grade and magazine subscriptions in the 7th grade (I was told to lie to sell subscriptions) that I refused to do it ever again.

    My Drama teacher understood this, and whenever she had a candy sale, I never had to sell candy, but I did help her collect and count the money.

    My 11th grade civics teacher, on the other hand, wasn't so sympathetic. Then again, everyone in the 11th grade had to sell magazine subscriptions and the class that sold the most subscriptions would get a pizza party. I handed all my stuff to one of the more motivated students and didn't think about the situation again until the end of the magazine sale drive.

    Much to my horror, my class won.

    Sigh.

  16. I didn't get my learner's permit until I was 19 and absolutely needed a car to get to work.

    And even then, I failed the vision test (officially—unofficially, I proved the clerk had given me the wrong chart to read).

    And the less said about my first attempt at driving a car, the better (to this day, Dad still is leary of letting me drive).

  17. For loose values of “coast to coast.”

    As a kid, I spent my summers in Royal Oak, Michigan with my grandparents. When I lived in Brevard, North Carolina, my grandma would drive down to pick me up and then again to drop me off. When Mom and I moved to Florida, I started flying there instead.

    But one year, I drove back to Florida with my Mom's cousin and his two young kids (oldest was maybe five at the time). In a Camero.

    And people wonder why I hate trips …

    Anyway, I digress.

    While it's not from sea to shining sea it is from one “coast” (near enough to Lake St. Clair) to another (the Atlantic Ocean) and is over 1,200 miles. Close enough for me.

  18. Yup.

    Although I don't think I ever was 18, as Mom used to joke that I was 10 going on 40 …

Aw heck, since this is a pathetic attempt to start one of those Intarweb memes, I tag anyone and everyone to check off what they've done by age 18 …

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