42 Things I Know To Be True After 42 Years On The Planet

I turned forty-two this week.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.

Over the last forty-two years, I have experienced some amazingly wonderful and some fairly terrifying things.  I’m not a philosopher and I am certainly not one of the smartest people in the world.  I’m not even one of the smartest people I know.  However, in honor of my Forty-Second birthday, I present you with 42 things that I hold to be true.

  1. No drink tastes better than a coke in a glass bottle.  Except maybe a draft root beer in a frosted mug.
  2. I understand that they are important in the grand scheme of things, but snakes are scary.
  3. Someday, somehow, my encyclopedic knowledge of “The Brady Bunch” will be of benefit to me or my loved ones.
  4. George Artman, my 9th grade “World Cultures” instructor, taught me more about writing and research than any other teacher in high school or college.
  5. The five greatest movies of all time are “Casablanca,” “Jaws,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “The Princess Bride,” and, oh, let’s say “Stand By Me.”  It’s okay to disagree.  i know I’m right.
  6. So many of life’s problems can be solved by a turkey sandwich from Gerard Farms and a walk on Rexhame Beach.
  7. If I had to choose 5 events that shaped me into the person I am today, they would be:
    1. Getting the crap kicked out of me by the same two jackasses every fucking day of the sixth grade.  And I mean EVERY day.  Those guys sucked.  Who knows, maybe they still do.
    2. Joining the drama club during my freshman year of high school.
    3. The death of my dad.
    4. Moving to Pembroke, Massachusetts during my junior year of high school and meeting the people I met there.
    5. Meeting my wife and somehow managing to convince her that spending time with me was a good idea.
  8. Rubber Soul is the best Beatles Album.
  9. As bang-for-your-buck/invested time goes, the best theme park attraction in the world is “Splash Mountain.”
  10. One of the most frightening phrases one can hear uttered is “I can’t get my MacBook to bind to Active Directory.”
  11. My wife is right a lot.  I mean A LOT.  And she puts up with a lot of crap from me.
  12. Regardless of how right my wife is or how often she is right, she will never be able to talk me out of the following truth:  Jake Ryan is an asshole.  He sold his drunk girlfriend to a complete stranger.  Asshole.  End of story.  Moving on to number 13.
  13. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a perfect book.
  14. The world needs more drive-ins.
  15. The definite answer to the question “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” is “Doctor Who.”
  16. There is a ghost inhabiting 256 Main Street.
  17. No sunset is more beautiful than the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida.
  18. Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.
  19. The best steak in the world is prepared at Bern’s in Tampa, Florida.
  20. There are a small group of people who groomed me into a better person than the little shit I was before I met them.  Without those people, my wife and kids would most likely want nothing to do with me.  I’m not going to name them here because that would be schmaltzy.  You probably know if you are one of them anyway.
  21. When I wake up in the morning, I have the second most epic bed-head ever to grace the face of the planet.  As epic bed head is, in fact, genetic, the ultimate epic bed-head is atop the skull of my cousin, Matt, and he has a year of glorious photographic evidence to prove it.
  22. The scariest movie of all time is 1982’s “Poltergeist.”
  23. My social skills were vastly improved by the introduction of “Dungeons & Dragons” to my life.
  24. The funniest line ever uttered in the history of broadcast television:  “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
  25. I was going to make a statement about “The Breakfast Club” for #25, but it’s not right to make fun of two John Hughes movies in one 42-point list.
  26. The greatest job I ever had was being a house-husband/stay-at-home-dad for 5 months and I would do it again in a heartbeat if the 401K and stock options were better.
  27. I just don’t give a shit if the balls were deflated.
  28. Mankind’s greatest achievement in engineering:  My cassette copy of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First” still successfully plays in the tape deck of my car.  So does my copy of the “Stand By Me” soundtrack.  The pyramids?  Pffffffff.
  29. I saw U2 during the “Zoo TV” tour with Christian and Michelle, Kate, Dan, and Megan (and passed notes via the security guards to Tobin, Tina, Leigh, and Julie across the stadium).  It was the greatest live show of my life until I saw Brandi Carlile play the House of Blues in Orlando in 2011 with my wife, Michelle.
  30. I make the best corned beef hash.
  31. “Man Of Steel” may have been a blockbuster summer disaster flick, but it was an absolutely shitty Superman movie.
  32. I also make the best Thanksgiving Dinner.
  33. My wife and kids find me the best birthday presents.  they are pretty sure the ukulele was a mistake, though.
  34. The often-passed-around Facebook statement “Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you; Jesus and the American Soldier” is patently false.  The most obvious reason to me being that I would gladly give my life up for a number of people and, the last time I checked, was never a soldier or a messiah.  There’s an entire rant regarding the sacrifices of others who are not one of the two mentioned groups, but that is for another day, so let’s move on, shall we?
  35. There is no reason for “Monopoly” to be the most popular board game in America when “Ticket To Ride” is available for purchase.
  36. Listen.  In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
  37. My moral compass was developed by my exposure to comic books:
    1. Spider-Man taught me that with great power comes great responsibility.
    2. The Justice League taught me that amazing things are possible when you work together as a team.
    3. The X-Men taught me that people who are different, feared, or hated can have a phenomenal impact on a world that may not understand them.
    4. Archie taught me that trying to juggle multiple girlfriends is never going to work out well in the long run.
  38. There has never been a better sitcom than “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
  39. Everyone should have at least one book that they crack open and re-read once every year or two.  Mine are “A Christmas Carol” (see above) and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”
  40. People who believe that profanity is only for the ignorant and uninteresting don’t know what the fuck they are talking about.
  41. The book will be done soon.
  42. 42.