Michael Totten

51 Facts About Me

(And now for something completely different. I need to mix it up every once in a while. We will return to our regular programming shortly.)
When I was ten years old my father asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said “English teacher.”
When I was a kid I never went through a “girls have germs” phase. I always liked girls and had simultaneous crushes on two of them in kindergarten.
I have been a news junkie since I was 12 years old and had a paper route.
I had another paper route in college so I could buy beer and cds.
I lived with two girlfriends before I got married.
My wife and I bought a house a year and a half before we were married and six months after we met.
I got terrible grades in high school, including in English class, and “they” put me into the advanced English class anyway. I thought “they” were crazy. I no longer do.
I got excellent grades in college.
I have contempt for stupid people.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with smoking marijuana (in moderation) and I think it should be legalized immediately. Although I almost never smoke it myself and I don’t intend to smoke it if it does become legal. (And no, I am not lying about the last part.)
My wife and I saw a live sex show in Amsterdam, but we have never watched pornography together.
I love spicy food. The only food too spicy for me is a habanero pepper all by itself.
I love to argue for sport and don’t take arguments personally as long as my opponent isn’t an asshole.
I almost always vote Democrat, but I am not a “liberal” and I am not afraid to vote for Republicans or members of the weird parties. (Nader yes, Perot no.)
I was baptized Catholic and raised Protestant.
My father is a life-long atheist.
I am not religious.
My mother is a squishy liberal.
My father is a Republican In Name Only.
My brother has been to all seven continents, including Antarctica – the bastard. I made it to South America and the Middle East first, though.
I would like to be a libertarian, but too many of them are crazy and the party itself is an even bigger joke than our two major parties.
My favorite move is Blade Runner.
My favorite author is William Shakespeare.
My favorite American cities are New York and Chicago.
I hate onions. I mean, I really hate them and I can’t understand why on earth anyone eats them.
I can’t stand it when people pretend to like bad art just to be nice. If it’s bad and the artist is talentless you look like a bufoon if you say you think otherwise.
I am not, and will never become, a vegetarian.
I think the NRA is kooky, but I have no problem with firearms.
I hate sharing the road with SUVs. I can’t see around, over, or through them.
I like loud music and my wife and I constantly struggle over control of the car stereo volume.
Homicide: Life on the Street is the best TV show ever.
I generally do not like TV.
I prefer beer and (red) wine to hard alcohol. I can’t tell you what is in any mixed drink.
Contrary to most Americans, I would rather visit Latin America or the Middle East than Europe. The people – especially Arabs and Kurds – are more pleasant to be around.
I am morbidly fascinated by totalitarian regimes.
I want to visit North Korea. My wife wants to visit North Korea even more badly than I do.
I never intend to visit Cancun unless somebody else pays my way.
I have been to every state in the West except New Mexico. New Mexico has not been skipped for any particular reason.
I have never visited a single southern state, again for no particular reason.
My favorite country to visit is Lebanon. My second favorite country is Chile.
I speak Spanish badly.
I can kinda sorta slightly read French, but I have no idea how to pronounce it and I don’t understand it when it is spoken.
I can say some things in Arabic, and I can understand some spoken Arabic, but I cannot construct sentences from scratch.
I like goth music, but I was never even close to being a “goth” when I was young.
My favorite musician is Lisa Gerrard. She has no peer.
If your computer is broken and anyone can fix it, I can fix it.
I can fall asleep instantly except one night every couple of months when I can’t sleep at all.
It takes me 45 minutes to wake up in the morning. Waking up is a process, not an event.
I love road trips, but I don’t think I can ever top my spontaneous road trip to Iraq with Sean. So now it’s all downhill from here.
I can play the piano.
When I was 17 years old I faced a decision: I will become a writer or I will become a musician. You know which one I chose.