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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Five Things About Me

My friend Joy recently tagged me with the latest meme to make the rounds in the food blogging community, the one in which we're asked to identify five things about ourselves that you probably don't know.   Now, I've obviously been careful to keep many details about myself hidden from public view, but when a request like this comes from one of my favorite bloggers, well, I'm happy to participate.   So, without further ado, here are five things that you likely do not know about me:
  1. I designed the rear defog system for the 1993 Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.   Before entering the hallowed halls of law school, I spent four long and arduous years earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.   During one of the three summer internships I did at General Motors, I was tasked with analyzing the existing design for the Camaro's rear defog system, evaluating it against comparable systems found on vehicles from other manufacturers, and redesigning it to hit competitive benchmarks.   So, if you ever find yourself in a cold climate cursing at how long it's taking for the ice to clear from the rear window of your 1993 Camaro or Firebird, now you know who to blame.

  2. Other than food, one of my greatest passions in life is music -- especially electric jazz/fusion.   I don't mean by this that I simply enjoy going to an occasional concert.   No, my interest is probably more on the order of a borderline obsession, to the point where I've been known to attend every single show of a four-night stint when certain jazz artists come to town.   I even stayed in Philadelphia once for five days past the end of an exhausting month-long trial, just so I could catch a show that I missed when it came through San Francisco.   It's actually a minor miracle that the members of the Pat Metheny Group, the Yellowjackets, Steps Ahead, and Vital Information, among others, haven't taken out restraining orders against me.   Or maybe they have, and I just haven't been caught yet.

  3. I have played the drums for 29 years, and I thought seriously at one point about pursuing a career in music.   My three closest friends in high school were all drummers, and the four of us were completely immersed in our instrument -- taking private lessons for years on end, playing in every possible school band/orchestra, and putting together percussion ensembles to take to state-wide competitions.   In the end, though, pragmatism won over, as it dawned on me that trying to play the drums professionally might not put food (or at least good food) on the table.   I have nevertheless continued to play recreationally, and the very first purchase I made after buying a house four years ago was a seven-piece acoustic drumset to replace the electronic (read "quiet") set that I'd been playing while living in an apartment.   And yes, my neighbors love me.

  4. I love olive oil, but I hate olives.   I can't explain it, and I've tried repeatedly to overcome my serious dislike of the fruit itself.   Yet, time and again, my efforts have failed spectacularly.   Because of this, any chef who can make a dish featuring olives that I actually enjoy has my deepest admiration and eternal loyalty.   So far, only one individual has managed to pull this off:   David Kinch, with his black olive madeleines.

  5. One of the things that I'd love to do someday is to be an investor/co-owner in a restaurant.   I know, I know -- it's a notoriously challenging industry, the returns on investment are not great, and the work involved is undoubtedly thankless.   Still, the entire idea holds such allure for me, that I'm apparently willing to throw all caution to the wind for the right opportunity.
At this point, I'm not sure that there are any food bloggers who have not yet been tagged for this meme, so I'm not going to name anybody specifically.   Instead, if you're a food blogger reading this and would like to participate, please consider yourself tagged!


Anonymous Cindy said...

My husband is a drummer, we live in Marin County, and we LOVE Steve Smith and Vital Information!

February 20, 2007 1:55 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Cindy: That is so great! Steve Smith has had such an enormous influence on my drumming over the past three decades -- probably more so than any other professional drummer. I followed him very closely in the early 80's when he was with Journey, and some of my earliest forays into electric jazz occurred when he first started Vital Information. I also love his work with Steps Ahead.

As you might imagine, I was thrilled when I moved to the Bay Area and found out that he lived in Novato, as it meant that I could catch him frequently in Bay Area jazz clubs. Unfortunately, he moved to NYC last year, so the opportunities to see him live have dropped off precipitously. I'm just hoping that he'll move back at some point soon!

February 20, 2007 2:39 PM  

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