Let’s get this over with, shall we? So I can move on.

See, I’ve been brooding over what to write for my 100th post for far too long. I considered a Cliff Notes sort of retrospective where I link to all my favorite posts. But I have always despised those types of era-ending pontifications. So I entertained the idea of a post where I finally come clean regarding certain personal yet vitally important life-altering beliefs. Like faith and God and stuff. You know, something über-philosophical and erudite. Nah. Just not in the mood at this point.

One hundred posts is quite an achievement for many of us bloggers. Especially for those who take this thing seriously. Many of you Tweakers reached his particular summit long ago, while others are still making the climb. Each excellent-charming-witty post like a piton pounded home deep in the rock of the blogosphere. I’m told this is a time to stop and reflect on what lies before. And what changes lie ahead. I’ve done enough of that recently, so I’ll spare you here.

So this is what you get.

Erika did this recently. So have my wife and my daughter. Hell even


and I don’t even know who they are. I found them on Google Blog Search. So it must be the cool thing to do. And I’m all about being cool. However, being a huge fan of Casey Kasem, and because I possess a rather iridescent rebellious streak, I’m going in reverse order. Working our way to #1. Let’s have at it . . . and there’s a prize waiting at the end, so no skimming dammit!

100. My favorite word is absquatulate.

99. I first came across the word in Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day.

98. I never finished it.

97. I mean, co’mon, it’s like over 1100 pages long!

96. I did, however, manage to finish Don Quixote.

95. And Moby Dick.

94. And The Brothers Karamazov.

93. But not The Satanic Verses.

92. And I really want to.

91. Someday . . .

90. I use that word a lot. Someday . . .

89. . . . I’ll get a short story published.

88. . . . I really will graduate from college.

87. . . . we will have enough dough left over to get a new gaming console.

86 . . . . or an HDTV.

85. . . . or cable.

84. We still use rabbit ears.

83. Connected to those nifty little digital converters.

82. The reception still sucks because we live in the boonies of NE Indiana.

81. Corn? No problem.

80. FOX? Nope.

79. I’m not really bummed out about that.

78. Although my wife has to unplug the thing to get American Idol.

77. I thought Bo Bice should have won.

76. Haven’t watched it since.

75. I’m ¼ of the way done with this list.

74. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri.

73. A long time ago.

72. I moved seventeen times before graduating from high school.

71. Dad had one of those jobs where they liked to relocate you occasionally.

70. Occasionally?!

69. I learned to hate cardboard boxes.

68. I used to be a really big fat guy.

67. In this picture I weighed 385 pounds.

66. Then I had an open Roux-en-Y.

65. Permanent weight loss surgery.

64. That was over six years ago . . .

63. . . . down at the Bariatric Weight Loss Center of Excellence at St. Vincent Carmel Hospital.

62. I now weigh 180 or so.

61. Most days I feel like a million bucks.

60. Although now I have a difficult time floating when I go swimming.

59. And I used to be so buoyant!

58. My second favorite word is palimpsest.

57. I love the way it rolls around on the tongue.

56. And how it describes my life.

55. Written upon.

54. Erased.

53. Rewritten.

52. With shadows of the old remaining.

51. It’s mind-blowing, really.

50. Half way there . . .

49. I kick ass at Guitar Hero.

48. But only on medium difficulty.

47. These arthritic and uncoordinated fingers just can’t manage that orange fret.

46. I’m uncomfortable talking to children between the ages of 2 and 17.

45. I’m lying.

44. I stole that one from Erika.

43. And, since all four of my kids fall in that age range, I imagine she’d have a helluva time around my place.

42. 😉

41. I’ve never met anyone really famous.

40. Although in my southern gospel radio days I did interview Vestal Goodman.

39. She was a sweetie.

38. She called me “Sugar” about 27 times.

37. When I first started dating my wife, I impressed her by shoving pizza up my nose.

36. Yeah. She still digs me.

35. My first full-time job was at McDonald’s.

34. I made the best damn biscuits on the south side!

33. People came from miles around . . .

32. Nevermind.

31. I’m generally uncomfortable in large crowds.

30. Though, being skinny now, I don’t stand out as much.

29. I sink into the anonymity my normal look affords me.

28. When I speak, I am quiet.

27. People often say, “What?”

26. I just don’t like being the showman anymore.

25. Only 24 to go . . .

24. I began The Cheek of God in February of 2008.

23. I’ve had over 8,000 views and people have left over 600 comments.

22. Some of you are regular readers.

21. Tweakers, as I like to call you.

20. You are some of the coolest people on the planet.

19. Running this blog is a bit like hosting a huge party where only one’s best friends are invited.

18. Ideas circulate.

17. Stimulate.

16. And bonds are forged.

15. I love you guys.

14. My God! With only 13 left I now find myself in the strange position of having to pick and choose.

13. And I hate making decision.

12. What juicy piece of information should I leave you with?

11. What nugget of wisdom and insight?

10. Last night, for the first time ever (believe it or not) one of my kids walked in while the wife and I were . . . um . . . you know.

9. First. Time. Ever!

8. Talk about a mood-buster . . .

7. We laughed about it, once all the high-decibel shooing and frantic blanket-grabbing was over.

6. But . . .

5. Now what?

4. How does one deal with this sort of thing.

3. I suppose some sort of conversation is in order.

2. Or do you just let something like that slide?

1. Ah, the joys and struggles of being me.

Life is exciting!

I promised a prize. You deserve it if you made it this far. How about a $20.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble? Usable online if you prefer. Just leave a comment sharing one obscure thing about yourself and your name will go in a hat. (Immediate family members are ineligible; you guys get books all the time!) On Sunday morning, when I finally drag my carcass out of bed, I’ll have my youngest daughter draw a name. Completely random-like.

The gift of reading. In honor of my 100th post. I dig that idea . . .

[photo by (Meagan)]

32 thoughts on “100!

  1. Ooh I’m the first! Is that obscure? not really. Um, ok, I once turned onto a dark street when I was trick or treating with a friend and it turned out to be the street where a kid ran into a truck on his bike and died. My friend and I saw all the graffiti on the road memorializing him and we ran 3 blocks back to her house. And I peed in my ninja costume while I ran.

    I know it’s a random drawing but maybe the gods of chance will like my sotyr best. 🙂

  2. One obscure thing about me – hmmm….
    I’m a geek history buff. Big time. I actually plan a vacation every year where I spend my time in libraries researching. If you ever want to know about the history of Pennsylvania, ask me. I read tome after tome of history, and I actually remember it all. Yeah, it kind of freaks me out too. Now people ask me to help them find stuff, and sick history junkie that I am – I do it. I don’t even charge for it, I like doing that much.
    Feel better?
    Oh and I joined the ranks of handwriting posters today. That’s sort of obscure, isn’t it?

  3. Digging through obscurity that I haven’t already revealed to the internets……………….

    I find celebrity news foolish and look down upon folks who buy into it, yet still read my mother’s stupid smut magazines when I visit her.

    Don’t know if that’s obscure. It just shows me to be a hypocrite ;-o

  4. Thanks for the link love! My first job was at McD’s too. I love the way you use palimpsest to describe your life; very inspiring. Congrats on the successful operation!

  5. First, a few comments:

    100: Totally sounds like “pooping in the woods.”
    95: I’ve tried three times. I have to stop reading that thing at bedtime.
    46: I was all “No way, another person? For the same age group?”
    6: You forgot a “t”…

    As for an obscure fact about me –

    At the end of the day the skin on my feet and ankles hurts from having the hairs pulled on by my socks, so I pull my socks down far enough that only half of each foot is covered by sock. This leaves the other half (or more) of each sock to flop around beyond my toes when I walk, like I’m wearing clown shoes. I’m wearing my socks like that right now.

    But if my name is drawn, please put your kids’ names in a hat and make a second drawing. The name that’s drawn gets the gift certificate. I’d get more enjoyment knowing someone’s child got a book than I ever would getting my own.

  6. This post was amazing. You really drew me in.

    I liked it so much, I copied the concept. And even your cadence. But at least I gave you credit!

  7. Obscure? Oh, I don’t know… how about: I’m in my 20s and still have two of my baby teeth. The dentist says there were no adult teeth under them.

    Yes, I’m a mutant.

  8. I loved this! It was such a fun read! I started blogging in February of this year too, but I don’t post everyday so I haven’t reached post #100 yet. At least I don’t think I have–maybe I’d better check. :-0 I like the idea, though, when I DO finally reach 100.

    One obscure thing about me…

    My daughter has informed me that when I am old and have Alzheimers she will let me come live with her in my very own room! And she will let me out on Tuesdays!

  9. I popped over here because you linked to my 100th post/100 things list. I enjoyed reading yours, even if you cheated a wee bit. 😉

    Heck, it took me days to come up with 100 things, so I’m really scraping the bottom of the obscurity barrel to give you one more.


    I didn’t share this on my 100 things list, so how about this: I was on Jeopardy once. Sadly, only once, as I had NO CLUE about the total stumper of a Final Jeopardy question. (The correct question was “Who is Lily Langtry?” but I came up with “Who is Olivia de Haviland?” Oops. The next night, the FJ question was “Who was Milli Vanilli?” and I totally knew that, which means had the questions been switched, I would’ve won – no one else playing knew the MV answer. No, I’m not still bitter about this five years later. Really.)

    Does that count as obscure? I mean, my career as a Jeopardy contestent certainly slipped into obscurity quickly enough… 22 whole minutes, not counting commercials.

    Anyhow, cheers and thanks for the link back to my corner of the blogosphere.

  10. Hello! Obscure thing: I remember as a kid after a nightmare crawling into my parents bed (the less snorey side was mum’s), but one day the door was locked and I didn’t know why.

  11. I don’t know if this counts as obscure, but I really like that I know a lot of words.

    Dang if I haven’t had to look up two words (palimpsest, absquatulate) in my first two visits to your blog!

    Humble pie, my friend, with a little whipped cream if I may.

  12. #59 is my favorite, hands-down.

    As for me, well…. ummmm….

    I was potty-trained in an outhouse.

  13. One obscure thing – my vision is so bad that when I am not wearing contacts or glasses my focal point is an inch from my face. BUT – if I need to see something in great detail up close, my eyes work great. No one can get out a sliver better than I can.

  14. Congratulations on turning 100! This calls for cake, me thinks.

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon a writer who uses words like “absquatulate” and “palimpsest” that send me rushing for the dictionary – this is muy coolio, and I thank you.

    I won’t enter an obscure fact – the 6th toe thing is soooo overdone…

  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yours has made me grin so far and congats on the 100th post. I almost did a 99 1/2 as well because I didn’t have anything good enough for an actual 100…. sad I know.
    As for an obscure fact…. when I was a little kid, I loved Sesame Street during the day time, but at night I was firmly convinced that an evil Big Bird lived under my bed and if my arm went over the side he would bite it off.

  16. You know what else, besides TV reception, sucks in NE Indiana? Cell phone reception. Just drove through there yesterday and my phone dropped my calls every other second. NOT, that I was talking and driving at the same time. Oh no.

    Another option, btw, for when you reach 200: just ignore it (works for me anyway 🙂 ).

  17. congrats on 100! i’ve kept telling myself i’ll do the 100 things about me post, but it looks so intimidating! here’s to a 100 more!

    obscure fact: i can’t fall asleep without the tv on 🙂

  18. Great post. Creative use of a (semi) linear structure. Funny and compelling.

    Comments very entertaining too.

    Also impressed with your before and after weights. I grew up stuttering and have my own pre and post story. I always felt like an outsider, if not outright teased. I wonder if we have that kind of childhood in common.

    My obscure fact: My first (and last) short film, called “Their Apartment,” was selected and shown by the Santiago International Film Festival. I think it was somewhere around 2005. I’ll send you a copy some day if you need a sleep-aid.


  19. 100 posts, congratulations. I loved your list.

    Depending on the age of the kid who walked in, I don’t know if I’d say anything unless they asked. I think I got through my first’s entire childhood without that happening but I honestly can’t remember!

  20. I imagine I’m too late for the contest, but let’s see if I can come up with something obscure about myself.

    When I was in 5th grade, I made it to the district-level of the spelling bee. I was doing fine until I realized how many people were out there in the audience looking at me. The old woman who was calling the words clenched her dentures when she talked. All those nights of drilling on words with my mom went out the window, and I screwed up the word “docile.” Instead of asking for a definition or for it to be used in a sentence, I just blurted out d-o-s-s-i-l, dossil. It’s a real word, used in printing and also in medicine (surgery). BUT it isn’t the one they were looking for – ALAS!

    I cried all the way home in the car (definitely not docile), but Dad bought me a new stuffed dog. I survived.

    Peace – D

  21. As always, I’m late to the party. Oh, well!

    This is an AWESOME post and one of THE BEST 100 lists I’ve ever read. Well done. 🙂

    Obscure fact about me: I love the combination of garlic toast and orange juice.

  22. Congratulations, Brian, on 100 posts! (Mine came and went without me noticing. Uh. Oh. Oblivion even to the author. Anyway..)

    This post was, as you promised, a little bit of everything that we admire, like, and sometimes, learn about you and from you.

    The amazing thing to me is that I’m stuck on one thing.

    I read to the end of all your posts because I like to read what you have to say not because of a possible prize awaiting me at the end. Rewards? You come visit us, don’t you?

    So, here’s my obscure fact:

    I wuv you but this is the second barnes & noble rewards/prize card I’ve seen on a blog I like to read…a blog I read and want to continue to read without any commercial incentives trying to reward my loyalty or reading through to the end. It bothers me for some reason. I understand the fun of such a thing, the silliness of it, too.

    If your prize had been something that didn’t have a straight commercial value, i.e. signed copy of this 100th blog, or a mug or a mousepad you had made celebrating your blog, or a copy of your favorite book, or some demonstration of that pride battle you say you are wrestling all the time and your readers never see, it would not have struck me sideways at all.

    Something to celebrate your unique, evolving self, I would have signed up and pushed people out of the way to win it.

    So, with grammas like this, who needs to rent skunks for your lawn parties?

    I want the The Cheek of God mousepad.

  23. Congrats on your 100th post!

    I went away for 3 days so I missed answering sooner.

    My favourite word and substance is phlogiston. When a substance is burnt and the phlogiston is released it can be said to be “dephlogisticated”.

  24. oh i am so behind but CONGRATS on 100 posts. you are a great writer. i look forward to reading that short story that will eventually get published

    ps: we too still have rabbit ears (they even have tin foil on them) and i was bo bice all the way…

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