February 8, 2009

DMG's Facebook 25 Things List

I have been spending lots of my recent time on Facebook.com, where a current craze is writing 25 Random Things about yourself. Time magazine even wrote about the phenomenon in an article called "25 Things I Didn't Want To Know About You."

And this is my version, which is longer than most people's:

25 Random Memories From DMG/Shy Cloud

RULES: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. Make each item as long or short as you want. When you finish, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

To do this, click on Notes in the extended portion of the tabs at the top of your profile page, the click on "Write A New Note" in the upper right corner. Paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

P.S. -- My answers are way longer than those written by most people I've seen do this exercise, so you might want to get yourself a cup of coffee or a sandwich before you start to read them!

1. My full name actually is David Charles Green. I was named after my grandfathers, David Madison Green and Rupert Charles Rummelhart, so I could have been named Madison Rupert Green. As it was, I never really liked Charles as a name, and once I became a writer, just plain David Green wasn't distinctive enough, so I went looking for a different middle name in the late '70s. I considered David Rupert Green to keep my mom's dad in the picture, but didn't like that. Then I thought about David Colin Green for a time during my early days of loving Formula 1 racing (the Lotus team was owned by Colin Chapman), but that didn't feel right either. Finally in 1978 I settled on David Matt Green, choosing my dad's father's nickname as my new middle moniker.

2. When I was a very bashful young Cub Scout, our pack had a Native American Day and all of the Den Mothers made up Indian names for their little cubs. Mine dubbed me "Shy Cloud, Chief of the Arapahos." I never forgot that name, and when I joined America Online back in 1990, I made it one of my screen names there. In 1996 I created my first web site, and soon after that I bought an actual domain name for it: ShyCloud.com. The site has been offering "Moral Support For Creative Sorts" for over 12 years now!

3. I tried to become a musician as a kid, but I didn't seem to have much natural talent for it. I was part of an electric guitar band that featured 40 or 50 students of David Yantis, though, and with them I played in a show at the Del Mar Fair when I was only 12! During 8th Grade I also had my own little band in the talent show at St. Didacus in Normal Heights. It featured me on electric guitar, and two other friends playing a sax and a snare drum. People said we were so good they thought it was a record and that we were just pretending to play!

4. The worst day of my life was September 25, 1978, when I was a newspaper reporter and photographer who spent about three hours at the site of the PSA plane crash in North Park, where 144 people had died, then another three hours in the temporary morgue, which was in the gymnasium at St. Augustine High School. I had graduated from Saints in 1967, and grew up in Normal Heights and North Park, so it was horrendous seeing so much death and destruction at an intersection I had driven through hundreds of times, and then bags and bags of bodies on the floor of my high school gym.

5. In 2008 I became Associate Producer, Technical Adviser and Lead Stills Photographer for a documentary called "Return to Dwight and Nile: The Story of PSA Flight 182." We filmed about 40 hours of interviews and location shots in September, and the movie is now in post-production.

6. I was very bashful around females as a kid, and then attended an all-boys high school, so I wasn't even around girls every day for those four years until I went to college. Even then I was still pretty shy, so I never kissed a girl until I was 21! It finally happened one night when I was walking on the beach with a friend named Julie. I told her there was something I wanted to tell her, but I didn't know how. She said, "Write it in the sand." She walked a short distance away to give me a moment alone, and I wrote, "I've never kissed a girl," then I walked away and she walked back and read my message. She came over and said, "That's not so bad," then she kissed me!

7. When I was 30 I married a woman I'd only known for three weeks. We stayed together for two months, then we broke up and got it annulled after one more month. Our birthdays were two days apart, so it turned out we were too much alike in too many wrong ways. We just fought and fought and fought! It was gruesome. We had held the wedding in the yard of my friend John Castellanos (who had nicknamed me Keen Dave Green and later played John Silva on "The Young and the Restless" for 17 years), which was high up on the west side of Mount Helix. For a year or two thereafter, every time I ran into John's mom Marcie, she asked me, "Married anyone this month?"

8. I still believe in soul mates and loves that last for many lifetimes, but I fear I may have already found and lost mine in this life. It's been a long, long time since I've been in love with a woman who was in love with me too. :(

9. I attended a 2-day Learning Annex seminar in 1993 featuring Dick Sutphen, author of "You Were Born Again To Be Together" and "Earthly Purpose," and his wife Tara Sutphen, author of "Blame It On Your Past Lives." I'm not a very good subject for hypnosis, but on the second day Tara conducted a regressive hypnosis session where she asked us to focus in on an important past life. I immediately sensed myself as an Indian riding with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse against General George Custer! The day before the seminar, I had met Dick and Tara for the first time at a book signing they did at Controversial Books. Tara told me then that she sensed I may have been a priest in a past life, which might explain why I'm now non-religious in this life.

10. Unlike some people, I loved high school. I went to a Catholic all-boys school in North Park called St. Augustine (Class of '67). I served as head manager for the basketball, baseball and football teams, so I got to leave class early a lot to go to games and keep score. In my senior year, that led to the editor-in-chief of the school paper asking me to write about basketball games. That worked out so well I won the school's Newspaper Reporter of the Year Award, which led me to major in Journalism at SDSU. I also was in the bowling league for four years, eventually being captain of a team called The Bonks.

11. I also loved college, which for me was 2 1/2 years at Mesa JC and then 2 1/2 years at what was then called San Diego State College. I wrote for the school papers at both places, and was active in the Newman Club at Mesa. It was a Catholic organization and I was elected president of it my second year there. With the help of a great bunch of officers and members, I led us to a Club of the Month Award during my one semester in office. I refused to run for re-election, because I had tried to avoid being elected the first time, as I was still pretty shy and didn't want to get up in front of people and lead the meetings. I didn't go to the meeting when they held those elections, thinking that would save me, but they elected me anyway and wouldn't let me turn it down! At Mesa I also was active in car rallies, which was a popular activity back then. They were races where you had to follow instructions at precise speeds to arrive at timed checkpoints, with the winner being the driver/navigator team that finished closest to the time recorded by the officials.

12. During my final semester at SDSU in 1972, I was recruited into a multi-level marketing system known as Sta-Power by a 19-year-old guy I had known in high school. I bumped into him one day when he was out driving around in a Porsche. He said he got it with money he earned in Sta-Power, so I went to a meeting and got hooked. I stayed in the company for 11 months, before jumping to a spin-off company formed by the Sta-Power president. That one was called Action Industries. Both companies sold automotive conditioners that people added to their car's gas, oil and/or transmission fluid, except no one ever sold much product because we were too busy trying to recruit people to come to the meetings and join our organizations. I wasn't very good at all that, so I never made much money, and I ended up having cases of the stuff stacked in my garage for several years, until I finally sold it cheap to someone.

13. In 2000, I fell for another multi-level scheme. This one was called ACN Inc. and it was sold to me by a sexy B-movie actress named Rochelle Swanson, who got my name and number from a friend of my friend Dana Williams. The company offered a chance to sell electricity and gas at a time when the industry was being deregulated, as well as long distance calling. The first two went away soon after I joined, though, and they were my real attraction to the company, so I eventually lost interest and quit what will be my final MLM system.

14. In February of 1973, I made a 2-week cross-country auto trip with Dave Van Der Griend, unsuccessfully seeking investors or recruits for Action Industries. We co-drove a borrowed car from San Diego through lots of miserable snow and sleet to see Dave's relatives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, getting there in only 38 hours and 45 minutes! While there we took snowy side trips to Battle Creek and Cadillac, where we rode a snowmobile across a frozen lake. After a week, we drove south from Grand Rapids to the much warmer McAllen, Texas, for surprise visits with my grandfather, two uncles, two aunts, and a cousin. We went to Reynosa, Mexico, with my cousin Paula Rummelhart, her finance Charles, and their fellow-teacher friend Theresa, who kissed with me in the soft Mexican moonlight. We also visited South Padre Island, where we rode a motorcycle on the beach beside the Gulf of Mexico. The next day, we raced from McAllen back to San Diego in only 23 hours and 45 minutes! I had to walk the last two miles to my house, though, to call a tow truck, because our borrowed car's drive shaft fell off just as we were going over the last hill before my street!

15. From 1974 through 1977 I bought a 30-day Greyhound Bus Ameripass each year and traveled around the country by myself for a month at a time. I visited 48 states and 6 Canadian provinces. I didn't actually see any of Idaho, though, because I was sleeping when we crossed the skinny part of that state late at night.

16. For about a month in 1975, I served as hired muscle for my cousin Bernie Descoteau on a Bekins Moving & Storage transcontinental 18-wheeler hauling furniture back and forth across America. Leaving from San Diego, we headed north to Los Angeles, then east to Phoenix, north again to Salt Lake City, and east again through Denver to Iowa City, where we stayed a couple of days with relatives. Continuing our "every night a new city" theme, we loaded, unloaded and reloaded our truck over and over again in Nashville, Spartanburg, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale. As we left Boca Raton and headed back north through Panama City, then on up to Birmingham, we followed about one day behind Hurricane Eloise and saw lots of destruction. From there we went west through Jackson to Oklahoma City, then south to Houston, where I ended my Bekins career. I bought my second 30-day Greyhound Bus Ameripass and used it to head further south to visit my Rummelhart kinfolk in Corpus Christi and McAllen.

17. In 1974 I fell in with a gang of thespians who called themselves Covenant Ark Theatre. They were led by a larger-than-life producer/director named Thomas Rusch, and at that time they were rehearsing for "The Music Man," the first of many summer musicals they would produce in the outdoor amphitheater at Patrick Henry High School. I became their photographer, and for every production I shot the final dress rehearsal, then put the pictures in books and took orders for them. I sold thousands of photos to happy cast and crew members from 1974-80! Since then, I have photographed about 50 shows for over a dozen local theater companies. In 2008 I shot four plays for Ion Theatre and one for Backyard Productions.

18. From 1980-84 I was the Journalism adviser for two Catholic high schools. I also was the Yearbook adviser at one of the schools for two years, and the second annual that my staff produced was judged to be the #1 yearbook in the county by the San Diego County Journalism Education Association.

19. In the early 1990s I did photography, video, Internet publicity and strategy for various San Diego NORML events. I also helped collect the thousands of signatures it took to get what became the successful Proposition 215 in support of Medical Marijuana on the California ballot. The group also supported a successful campaign to get HIV+ Samuel Skipper released from prison. In those years I also had three photographs of Skipper and hemp activists Jack Herer and Chris Conrad published in "High Times" magazine.

20. I have been photographing singers and bands since the mid-1990s. I've lost count of how many musical performers I've shot, but the number is probably up around 500 by now! My music photos have been featured in two shows: "Anything For The Shot" in 2006 and "A Day And Night Of Art And Poetry" in 2007. I have been asked to participate in "Anything For The Shot 2," which will be part of San Diego Indie Fest V on March 28, 2009.

21. I have always loved sports more than anything, but didn't get to play organized versions of them much as a kid, because I had very bad asthma then. It pretty much went away by the time I reached college, however, so I finally was able to play sports. I practically lived at Muni Gym in Balboa Park during my college summers, playing basketball for hours at a time. When I transferred from Mesa JC to San Diego State after 2 1/2 years, I dove into their intramural program as a captain and player for teams that played flag football, basketball and both men's and co-ed slo-pitch softball. The teams I assembled were generally pretty decent, and we almost always made the playoffs. I also assembled a basketball team to play in a summer league at San Carlos Rec Center the year it opened, and we won the championship!

22. I've watched almost every sort of sporting event at least once, and majored in Journalism intending to become a sportswriter. These days I only have so much time to spare, however, so I pay attention only to my favorite teams during their regular seasons, then watch as many teams as I can when it becomes playoff time. The first sports team I ever loved was the Brooklyn Dodgers, when I was 4 or 5 and living in Norfolk, Virginia. Then I moved back to San Diego shortly after I turned 6, and the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles three years later. I loved the Dodgers long before the Padres became a Major League team, and it took me years to really love the Padres more. I still like the Dodgers too, though, because they were my first love.

23. The Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961, and I went to my first game either that year or a year later with my grade school friend Douglas Sheehan and his mom. Doug later played Joe Kelly on "General Hospital" and Ben on "Knots Landing." In high school and college I went to every Chargers game, but eventually it got too expensive, so now I seldom miss watching them on TV.

24. I love my alma mater, San Diego State University (Class of '72), and catch all of their football and basketball games on TV. In my final year at SDSU, I worked as a statistician during Aztec football games, sitting high up in the press box around the 50-yard line. I also love March Madness and trying to watch every game during the college basketball playoffs, which has become extra fun in recent years, as SDSU actually has gotten good enough to make it into a couple of opening round games. This year they are going to make it and win a game!

25. And finally, I also love Formula 1 auto racing, dating back to the early 1970s and the Jackie Stewart era. I have attended single Formula 1 Grands Prix at Watkins Glen (NY) and Mosport (near Toronto), and three more at Long Beach (CA), and someday I hope to go to Europe to attend some races there. Meanwhile, I'm often awake at 4:30 a.m. on Sundays during the F1 season to watch the foreign races on the Speed Channel.

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Posted at 1:34 PM in Blogging