Okay. Okay. I can take a hint.
Over the past two weeks I've been tagged by five different people with the same meme, so I can't ignore it any longer (the price of fame I guess). It's called the "8 Things" meme (although I like how Nate over at Film Experience changed it to "8 1/2 Things" to keep it consistent with a film theme) and here are the rules:
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
So, here they are. Eight things you always wanted to know about me but were afraid to ask:
1. I don't remember the first movie I ever saw. In spite of (or perhaps because of) a lifetime of watching movies, I honestly couldn't tell you what my first movie-watching experience was... either in the theatre or at home. The earliest cinematic memory I have is sitting in the theatre as the end credits of The Muppet Movie start rolling, so I assume I must've watched the whole thing. I do remember the first R-rated movie I ever saw (and it was on the big screen too) but unfortunately I can't say it was something cool like Blade Runner or First Blood. No, it was a Chuck Norris action flick called Invasion U.S.A. I was nine years old. My dad took me to see it and at the time I thought it was awesome. I have since tried to view it again with little success.
2. I've never been outside the United States. Aside from driving through Canada with my family once for a couple hours (we visited Niagra Falls) I have yet to leave American soil.
3. I gotta dance. I've never been especially athletic (like all young boys I played little league baseball and did a bit of golf in high school, but that's it), but in my freshman year at college I finally discovered what I consider to be my "sport": ballroom dancing. I was invited to a friday night dance by a friend and I immediately fell in love with it. The fact that I was even willing to give it a try had a lot to do with the fact that a few months earlier I had seen the Astaire/Rogers musical Top Hat for the first time and the "Cheek to Cheek" number (which I had seen previously in Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo but without context) was so captivating to me that I said to myself "I wanna learn to do that."
4. I failed my driving test four times. The first time I failed the written exam. When I went back I failed it AGAIN (although this time by one question only). The third time I passed the written part but failed the driving test (backed up onto a curb which I guess is an automatic "fail"). The fourth time I went I passed the driving test but failed the eye exam. Finally, on my fifth visit to the DMV, I got my license. Good thing too or they would've had to start giving me my own parking space.
5. I have a freakishly good memory for totally insignificant things. Because of my inability to play sports I was not the most popular kid in school, but I was not necessarily disliked either. I had two talents that kept me from being a total outcast. 1) I could draw pretty well and 2) I could recite entire movies. The latter came in especially handy on long school bus trips when my friends would get bored and say "Damian, do Back to the Future." So I would. I would go through the entire film scene-by-scene, enacting every line of dialogue, voice inflection, pause, sound effect and music cue (the sad part is that I can still do it). This ability has helped me tremendously in learning my lines (and often other actors' as well) when I participate in local theatre productions.
6. I can't wear shorts. I don't even remember the last occasion when I didn't wear long pants. Where this eccentricity comes from I have no idea. Maybe I'm just self-conscious about my legs. Maybe I just think I look better in pants. I don't know. At any rate, it's not the most comfortable habit in the summertime I'll admit, but some of us sacrifice comfort for fashion. As Billy Crystal says: "It is better to look good than to feel good... and I still look mah-velous."
7. I once met Ben Stein. I was working in the video store one night when he came in through the door with his wife and I thought to myself "Wow, that guy looks remarkably like Ben Stein" (he wore the ratty sneakers with the nice suit and everything). When he asked if we were still open and I heard that indelible voice for the first time, I realized immediately that it really was he. I guess he was hungry and, being that we were one of the few places in the area still open, wanted to know if we had anything to eat. I told him the only snack we have in our store was popcorn. He asked if there was salt on it and I thought "Uh-oh. He's not gonna want to eat it if it's salted." I told him there was a little bit on there and he asked if I could put MORE on. So, I held the small bag open as he took the shaker and dumped lots of salt into it. I asked his wife if she wanted some as well but she neglected. He then offered to pay for the popcorn (since he wasn't renting or purchasing anything) and I told him it was on the house. He said, "Well, thank you. This is the nicest thing to happen to me in Corvallis so far." As soon as he was gone I was on the phone calling friends and family ("You'll never guess who was just in the video store...!"). Of course, half of them didn't believe me. "What the heck is Ben Stein doing in Corvallis?" was their most common question. Since I didn't ask him I didn't have an answer. Part of me wished that I'd had a camera in the store so that I could prove he was there. The next day I was working with another employee named Meredith when he and his wife came back. This time they actually wanted to spend some money at our store (they bought a used DVD copy of Gosford Park). I turned to Meredith and said "Please, tell me you have a camera in your purse." She nodded and when Ben asked if he could have more salty popcorn I said "Sure, If you'd be willing to do me a favor... have your picture taken with me." He agreed and the rest is history. I didn't let on the night before that I knew who he was because I figured celebrities probably have to put up wth that kind of crap all the time ("Hey! Hey, Ben! Say 'Beuler!' HA!"), but on the following day I told him that several of my friends didn't believe me when I called them after he left (which made his wife laugh) and asked him what brought him to Corvallis. He said he was shooting a promotional video for Hewlett-Packard. So now I had an answer (and photographic evidence) for any more skeptics. It's the only time I've ever really met anyone famous.
8. I know a little German (he's right over there). Aside from English I don't really know any other languages, although I took a couple years of German in college and still remember a tiny bit of it (or "sehr bischen" as they say). Hence, the title of this blog entry.
So, there you have it. More about me than ever you ever needed (or wanted) to know. All that remains is for me to name eight other bloggers. If you've already been tagged with this meme, please forgive me.
1. Dan at Cinemathematics
2. Ross at Rued Morgue
3. Cineboy at Pilgrim Akimbo
4. Campaspe at Self-Styled Siren
5. J.D. at Joe's Movie Corner
6. Neil at Bleeding Tree
7. Emma at All About My Movies
8. Keith at Reel Fanatic