Last night, I got back from a send-off party for a friend who's heading out for a four month tour of duty in Iraq and found out that courtesy of Patricia Kennedy, I'd been Meme'd!
It’s not easy to pick just 5 things, but here goes:
1. CATAPULTED OFF AIRCRAFT CARRIER:
I’m one of only very few civilians who has been catapulted off of an aircraft carrier. In college, I was part of a seminar program called National Decisions Program in Foreign Policy. Our professor was friends with many high-ranking military and arranged several very interesting class trips for us. His concept was that we were studying foreign policy on the decision-making level but wanted us to understand how that policy is implemented out in the field by the men and women who serve our country. Our class of 12 spent 3 days on the U.S.S. Enterprise (The Big E) nuclear powered aircraft carrier at sea and at the end of the trip we were catapulted off in a COD (carry on delivery) aircraft. Thrilling!! Also, as part of this class we went to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, KS and experienced a flight simulator and flew in a KC-135 refueling plane and refueled F-4 fighter jets in the air. Certainly experiences that I'll never forget!
2. RODE AN ELEPHANT:
Last December, on our vacation to Thailand, I rode an elephant, kayaked through sea caves in Phang-Na Bay, and saw the largest reclining Buddha statue in the world. What a great vacation! We went to Bangkok and Phuket (which has fully recovered from the Tsunami). If you can handle the grueling 20+ hours of flying, a trip to Thailand is well worth it!
3. TRAINED TO KILL:
I’ve been studying martial arts for 1½ years. The styles that I have been learning are Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Krav Maga is a combat art that is taught to the Israeli military and is a hybrid form of martial arts that combines aspects from different disciplines. It is quite aggressive and used for full-on street fighting and hand to hand combat in police and military situations – great exercise and a terrific skill to have. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the premier style of ground-fighting that has recently been popularized by the mixed martial arts (MMA) fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). My instructor in Falls Church, Virginia has somewhere around 15 black belts in different styles of martial arts. Even with my self-defense skills, there are still certain areas in and around D.C. where I may be very wary about venturing for real estate sales (check crime statistics). I may be trained to kill, but unlike James Bond, I have a license to sell real estate (and practice law) but not a “license to kill.”
4. I DANCE, DANCE, DANCE:
My wife Deborah is a dance teacher (ballroom, swing, Latin) and owns her own dance business specializing in teaching wedding couples and preparing them for their first dance at their wedding. Of course the pressure was on for our wedding 6 years ago – when you are marrying a dance instructor, people expect big things (lights, choreography, no stepping on toes). We chose an Argentine Tango, one of the most sensuous, but also difficult dances to perform. We changed out of our wedding attire and into our Tango outfits and wowed the crowd. We’ve also performed publicly for several charity events, and on occasion, I’ve helped her teach some group lessons.
5. I KNOW THE SECRET HANDSHAKE:
It’s not really secretive, but I am a member of the largest and oldest worldwide fraternity, the Freemasons. In fact, from December 2004 through December 2006 I was Worshipful Master (a fancy name for President, Director, head honcho, Grand Poobah) of my local lodge, Arlington Centennial-Glebe Masonic Lodge #81 in Arlington, Virginia. I am also a Shriner with the Kena Shriners in Fairfax, Virginia, dress up as a clown to entertain children, participate in parades and help raise money for the Shriner’s Hospitals. Through my participation in the fraternity, I’ve made countless lifelong friendships, helped raise money for great causes, donated over a gallon of blood (over 6 years) to the Red Cross in our joint blood drives, and visited lodges in Virginia, D.C., New York, and Pennsylvania.
Now that I've finished my MeMe and you know a little bit more about me, here's my tag for the next MeMe'rs:
1. Tchaka Owen
3. Harold Watts -- Realtor & skydiver!