25 Things (A Memoir of Sorts)

1. If I have a paperclip in my hand I will inevitably untwist it and then re-twist it into some shape or figure.

2. I started playing guitar when I was 15. I recently saw my 15 year old cousin and he is already better at guitar than I’ll ever be. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this.

3. I also started growing a beard when I was 15. It was this terrible Amish chin-strap thing but I was so proud. I still give my family a hard time for letting me get away with it.

4. When I was a kid my family dog-sat for some friends of ours. It was this huge sheepdog named Willie and one night my Dad forgot to tie him up outside and he attacked and killed my cat. I was devastated and still don’t feel like I’ve fully forgiven my Dad for his forgetfulness. But I can tell whenever my Dad brings up the cat and laughs too hard about it that he hasn’t forgiven himself either.

5. I only recently discovered that I love Eggs Benedict.

6. Sometimes when I’m getting dressed I’ll sit on my bed and put my pants on both legs at once. I usually do this on days when I need to feel special.

7. When I was in Junior High my friends and I were way way way into Role Playing Games like D&D and Shadowrun. We were nerds of the highest caliber. There was a passenger train that passed by our Junior High and everyday at lunch we would chase the train, waving desperately at the people on board for the express purpose of making them feel uncomfortable. I’d like to believe we succeeded.

8. I have never been in a fight. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about this.

9. I have also never been hospitalized (knock on wood). Despite this (or perhaps because of this?) I have the capacity to be a raging hypochondriac.

10. I lived in Mexico for the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of college. Near the end of the trip I was dreaming in Spanish. Still, at the taquerias in the Mission I order my burritos in English, out of some kind of misplaced politically correct decorum. I don’t want to assume they speak Spanish.

11. I worked with people with autism and other disabilities for three years. It was the best job I’ve ever had and I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have. Sometimes I’ll dream about the clients I worked with, the ones who were non-verbal, and in the dream they will suddenly be able to talk, and we’ll hang out chatting about music and movies and shit. They were my friends too, and I miss them.

12. I have no known allergies.

13. I have an amazing repertoire of wiffle-ball pitches (slider, curve, changeup, etc) that I’ll never get to use because let’s face it, no one wants to be the guy who gets all excited about striking someone out in wiffle ball. Unless you’re feeling cocky and challenge me to strike you out. Then it’s on.

14. When I lived in Santa Cruz I had a profoundly spiritual experience along the beach at West Cliff drive where I looked out at the ocean and the sky and realized that every living thing was a part of the infinite universe, that we are all part of one collective consciousness called God, and that death is only a phase-shift to another state of being. I think in a way it was the most terrifying experience of my life.

15. I have been skydiving.

16. When I was very young I spent nearly an entire day pretending I was an otter. My mom took me to McDonald’s and I lay on my back in the booth and ate my hamburger off of my chest. I would have slept in the bathtub if she’d have let me.

17. In High School I won a gold medal for “Interview” at the California State Academic Decathlon Competition. I am convinced the only reason I won is because I was the last interview of the day and when I came into the room I was wearing a hat, which I took off, much to the delight of the interviewing panel. Then a few of my teammates and I dropped acid and tried to order dirty movies from our hotel pay-per-view but our Coach caught us.

18. My favorite movie of all time is probably Zoolander. At least, it is the movie I reference/think about the most in my everyday life. If I had to choose my favorite TV show based on the same criteria it would be a toss up between about 35 different shows, but mainly the Simpsons, Scrubs and Buffy. But I usually keep the Scrubs and Buffy references to myself because the Simpsons is way more culturally codified and I care about things like how I’m perceived by people.

19. In the hierarchy of my addictions, Television is far and away the leader, with alcohol and the Internet trailing distantly and coffee bringing up the rear.

20. I once attended Phish shows on three consecutive nights. If this qualifies as going on “Phish Tour” then yes, I guess I was a Phish-head there for awhile.

21. I love to perform. I have been in several plays, including a series of Monty Python skits and a few musicals. I still maintain pipe-dreams of becoming an actor. I’ve also played in live rock bands since I was 16. Our High School band was called “Blind” among several other names (Trout Fishing in America, Guy Smiley, etc), and my go-to show-stopper move consisted of lying on my back and screaming gibberish into the microphone whilst thrashing my body across the stage. We were fucking punk rock, yo. Now I play bass for a folk singer named John Craigie and am hypothetically working on a solo project of my own songs. Lately I’ve found another performance outlet, which is to read my writing to an audience. People tell me I’m good at it, and for the most part I agree with them.

22. Until I was 15 the only music I listened to was Billy Joel and “Weird” Al Yankovic. Because of this my 80’s nostalgia is warped by the lens of “Weird” Al. Like when I hear the Kink’s “Lola” I still want to sing along “I met him in the swamp down in Degobah, where it bubble all the time like a giant carbonated soda, s-o-d-a so-ohh-da.” Also because of this, rock and roll for me started with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. But don’t worry, I’m all caught up now.

23. When I traveled in Europe after graduating college I went by my middle name, Will. I thought that self-reinvention would help me escape all the things that plagued me. I think I thought the same thing when I moved to San Francisco, that one grand and meaningful gesture could shatter all of my hang-ups and insecurities like magic. Now I know that people are much rarer and stranger things than can ever be fixed by simple magic.

24. I love watching sports. Seriously, it’s embarrassing, but I do. The uniforms, the pageantry, the drama, the personalities. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. It’s like war for rational people.

25. I am turning thirty this year and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about all of this. I’m okay being undecided though. It keeps things interesting.

Copyright © 2009, Kevin Hobson

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