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The definitive host: Musings of A Manly (I HAD to use it as a title eventually!)

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Friday, July 24, 2009

Musings of A Manly (I HAD to use it as a title eventually!)

Well, it’s finally here. My 25th birthday.

What is age, but a number?

I’ll tell you what it is, it means I have survived 25 years on this planet without dying, 25 birthday-related near-catastrophes and most surprisingly, 25 terrible Canadian Winters.

What have I learned in my 25 years on this blue orb we call Earth? Frankly, a lot about animals and biology, a bit about math and chemistry and literally nothing about poetry or how the f#@$ you play Lacrosse.

So, in honour of the 25th Anniversary of my birth, here are 25 memories that I shall share with you. Keep in mind, they are not ranked in any particular order, this is strictly a stream of consciousness thing.

1) One of the first memories I can remember is making snowmen in kindergarten using cotton balls. Remember that? And was it just me, or did cotton fluff + glue + young kids = a BAD combination?

2) I broke my left clavicle (collar bone) in senior-kindergarten by falling off a stack of big wooden blocks. To this day, I am still unsure of how it happened. I remember falling and waking up at Sick Kids Hospital staring up at an X-Ray machine with glow-in-the-dark Ghostbusters stickers around it.

3) In my life, so far, I have broken my left collar bone, various toes and fingers, bruised a few ribs, dislocated my left shoulder and sprained my left and right ankles.

4) Last night, I watched old cartoon theme songs from the 80’s and 90’s. Such highlights included: Transformers, Sonic the Hedgehog, Captain Planet, Teddy Ruckspin, Batman: The Animated Series and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In hindsight, I watched a LOT of TV as a kid. I suppose it was one of the quickest ways to silent two crying twins very quickly.

5) I once got lost at the Metro Toronto Zoo as a child. From what I remember, I was distracted looking at the gorilla’s, and by the time I turned around, my entire family was gone. So, using an intelligence far beyond my years, I found a security guard and proceeded to regale him with my story. As my Dad is so fond of saying, “we found him explaining, as only David can, the situation to a security guard.”

6) I used to want to be a paleontologist, as I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was a kid (please see earlier post, David's First Love). That was my IDEAL dream job, but it fell to the wayside. However, it is still something I am immensely interested in.

7) I acted a lot when I was a child, especially in musicals (yeah, yeah). But I loved it. Something about being on stage and having everyone pay attention to you was thrilling. Most of them were school or camp plays. The two best roles I ever got, were being Captain Hook in Peter Pan (I loved being evil, and my brother was Smee. I’m not too sure how he swung that, as it was originally given to someone else. Always curious about how Daniel did that …) and the other role I loved was Benny in RENT (the rich apartment building owner). To be honest, I miss it.

8) The first adult book I ever read was Jurassic Park. Guess why? That's right ... DINOSAURS

9) I am a big fan of movies, as is everyone in my family. I will watch almost anything to completion, and most likely enjoy a part or two. However, there are only two movies that I have begun to watch, but never completed. The first is Starman with Jeff Bridges (sorry Dad) and the reasoning behind it is lost on me, as it was a long time ago. The second is Lawrence of Arabia with Peter O’Toole … and it was just too damn long and made me really, really thirsty.

10) More old television shows. Remember Fraggle Rock, Today’s Special, Thundercats and Denver the Last Dinosaur? That was high quality television … not like the crap out there today!

11) I started wearing glasses in grade 10, and I was amazed that I could see individual leaves on trees from a distance away. They were always greenish blobs with a trunk.

12) As an admitted science guy, people say that I must have loved Bill Nye the Science Guy. And it’s true, I enjoyed it. But, three other shows did not get enough credit: Inquiring Minds, The Magic School Bus and Beakman’s World (the best science show EVER).

13) I went to overnight camp a lot, and had a great time. One time in particular was not, however, as three days before Parent’s Day, I got a black fly bite on my left eye-lid. It swelled up like nobody’s business. I couldn’t see out of it, and it HURT. Luckily, I took some weird but great tasting medicine (tasted like banana) from the health centre and I was better just in time to see my parents.

14) More on overnight camps: You ever tried tubing? Basically, it’s a small and circular flotation device with 4 handles (for a 2 person tube) and it is pulled behind a speedboat. SO MUCH FUN! One day, during an exceptionally hard water day, I went tubing and fell off. According to my brother, who was at the dock at the time, I “skimmed along the surface of the water like a thrown rock.” All I can remember was it really, really hurt!

15) I miss my old Nintendo Entertainment System (AKA the NES). Our grandparents brought it to us from the States, before it was even released in Canada. It was amazing. Some of the best games ever! Duck Hunt, Tetris, Super Mario Brothers 3 … the list goes on and on.

16) One of the most terrifying and thrilling moments of my life happened at the exact same time. It was when I went skydiving in Las Vegas last year with my brother. I was scared and exhilarated at the same time. By the time it was over, I was so pumped with adrenaline that I could not even stand! I would do it again in a heartbeat. Please see the video on Facebook ... it's AWESOME!

17) I’ve pet a cheetah … true story. Happened at a behind the scenes look at the Metro Toronto Zoo from a Reptile Biology (AKA Herpetology) course at York. Felt like a really, really big cat. It even purred when I pet it.

18) I want a pet snake. Preferably a python of some sort, like a Ball Python or a Green Tree Python. I do not know why I have such a fascination with reptiles, but I do. They are fantastic creatures, from which we should not be afraid of. They deserve our respect.

19) The celebrities I have met: Adam Sandler, Al Gore, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Malcolm McDowell, Shawnee Smith, Sean Astin and Colin Farrell.

20) This is harder than I thought … Ummm, I like cheese

21) Everyone always asks if my twin and I ever used to play tricks in school, and we did, but not often. It was fun, though.

22) Halloween costumes I wore as a child: Home-made Ghostbuster outfit, Superman, Captain Hook, part of a 2-headed alien, Jason, the Devil, a Mad Scientist, and, an escaped mental patient (loved that one).

23) Turning 25 makes me feel old

24) When I was a kid, using an amateur science kit, I blew up our basement and sent our cat Mr. Fluffy to a different dimension … yeah, that’s not true. Never happened. Never even had a cat. It's tough to come up with 25 things! Had a dog, though.

25) And to end it off, a complete and utterly useless fact about animals:
A complete examination of 200,000 ostriches over 80 years showed that NONE were found to every bury their heads in the sand.

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