Twenty four years ago I was adorable. Now I'm inquisitive and hilarious.
I have a plastic tooth to replace one lost in a mosh pit during my more ridiculous high school years. I speak shitty German and I ride a bike. My Xbox gets so much use, I'm sometimes embarassed. But I'm unemployed, so my time is spent writing blogs on the internet, reading good literary fiction, and playing video games.
In the grand scale of things, I'm a late-bloomer. My parents banned all consoles from my house as a kid. See what you've done? Now I game constantly to make up for years of lost time.
I won't list my favorites, because you've probably seen ten lists like it before me.
There's a life-sized Boba Fett standee in my living room.
When I clicked 'Make New Blog,' my edit page shamelessly revealed to me that my last post was back in September of last year. That fact stung, it really did, especially considering how much Destructoid - the community in particular - has done for me. Spoiler alert: It's a whole, whole lot.
If you'd like to read me gush about it, refer to this post, but if you came to learn weird things about the man with his face obscured by half of a racially offensive comic book, it begins now.
10. I live in Chicago, the Breezy Metropolis by the Lake. Of Lights. That Never Sleeps.
Most of you are likely unsurprised by this, but I moved to Chicago a few years ago following a depressing few months dwelling in Ohio post-college. It's been ridiculous, having been a mostly suburban kid growing up. I had to get over my neurotic mistrust of buses, decline two separate offers to watch a homeless man pee, and learn the hard-way to watch out for car doors while biking.
Chicago has been good to me and I intend to be here much longer. I've learned the train system, remained employed, gone to BBQ Rib festivals, watched Jurassic Park in a prohibition era theatre, and been up in the Sears Tower with relatives more times than I'd like to remember.
9. Every year, I celebrate National Corndog Day.
It's an international celebration! Corndog day comes early March every year and my friends and I don't pull any punches when it comes to the festivities. There's grilled corndogs and deep-fried tatertots for everyone. Check out this video montage of what happened last year.
There's even the Corndog Challenge, a standing goal to eat 10 corndogs, 100 tatertots, and drink 10 PBRs. Despite my years of experience, I've failed every time.
8. One of my front teeth is entirely fake.
Here's a tip to all you young kids trying to look cool with your mohawk, attending punk shows, and gawking at girls with leather jackets. I was you once, so you can be sure I know what I'm talking about. Don't jump in the moshpit. When you came back down, some asshole place his elbow squarely into your jaw.
Ever see a tooth become white mist? I did and it was not an experience I'd like to repeat.
Now, one of my front teeth is 98% plastic replica. You'll never guess, it's a perfect match. But, if it comes time to test us all to see who is a Cylon, I'll likely raise some suspicion.
7. I don't drink.
Those fated words made a thousand strangers at college parties cringe at me. No, I'm not a recovering alcoholic, the child of recovering alcoholics, or allergic to wheat gluten. It was just an activity that I tried, but never got into.
After the age of 19, no one cares anyhow. In fact, I'm that awesome dude that will always and forever be your designated driver. Want a late night drunken trip to Taco Bell? I'm your man, provided you pay in Chalpuas.
In fact, my years as the sober guy have given me an extensive catalog of excellent anecdotes. I've seen friends puke, fall down stairs dressed as 90's Cher, prevented house fires, witnessed embarrassing drunk dials, and stopped imminent bar fights. I could write a book about it all and, if I did, I'd probably title it the most common phrase I hear as the sobriety fades.
Don't Be Like Me, Ben.
6. I have not beaten a single one of the original Super Mario Bros games.
My parents are amazing, fantastic, supportive, hilarious people. But, one decision they made as young parents will forever shame me in the company of other gamers. As a child, I never once had a video game console. Not one.
I managed to eventually circumvent this rule by saving up and buying my own console, but that wasn't until the Nintendo 64 was somewhat old news. I've gone back to play a few classics, but I've never earned my Mario merit badge. Shame, shame, shame.
5. I have two distinct scars, a horseshoe mark from a failed attempt to ride a donkey and gash on my knee from a street-luging accident.
For being a pasty white nerd, I manage to get into some crazy shit.
The donkey was a pet of a rural family in Tennessee. I was a teenager volunteering for an organization that assisted struggling folk do household repairs and provide social support. The donkey did not want to be a horse, but I was challenged to try. I lasted four seconds longer than a professional rodeo rider, but made the mistake of falling off the back-end.
Did you know that when you approach a turn on a street-luge board, you should lean to turn? You should, but not too much. If you do over-compensate, you'll do some concrete-somersaults and end up with a nasty scar on your left knee. True story.
4. My brother lives in a hand-built cabin and sometimes in a teepee.
This isn't technically about me, but it's fun to hear about, so shut your stupid mouth. My brother is only about two years older than me, but we couldn't be more polar opposites. I sit on the internet, well-versed in memes and ingesting pop culture like a sponge.
My brother fights forest fires on a volunteer basis, clears trails for the park services, lives in a solar-powered cabin with wood-stove heating, lived for two years in a teepee that he made himself, and once stabbed a mountain lion in self-defense.
I respect the ever-loving hell out of the guy, but our differences make Christmas gift shopping a nightmare. Three holidays ago, I got him a new Bowie knife and he got me a Jack Kerouac book. That's about right.
3. I put on a four week show at the Second City theatre.
Have I hit the humblebrag limit yet? I think I'm pushing it, but I'm really proud of this one. Upon completion of taking a year of courses at the legendary improv/comedy/writing studio here in Chicago, my team and I put on a four-week sold-out sketch show. If you haven't heard of SC, it's the location that trained great comedians like Dan Akroyd, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, John Belushi, and a whole lot more.
It was terrifying, exciting, and plenty of mistakes were made. But, it was still a landmark achievement in my life. Since the show ended, a small pocket of brilliant writers and myself have formed a writing group. You can expect to see some web videos and possibly a variety show in the next few months.
2. I'm a card-carrying, quarter-blooded Native American.
No. This isn't one of those "1/300th Cherokee" things. While we don't actually get a card to carry, I was born a member of the Mohegan Tribe, which resides with their huge casino in Connecticut. Those wonderful bastards have the best Pow Wows you've ever seen and no, I'm not kidding.
I'm the whitest guy you'll ever see, sure, but that certainly didn't stop those beautiful Natives from covering my college tuition. Tribal status has a lot of benefits, but it also means I'm an easy target for jokes and even once was denied a car loan because of my "untrustworthy ethnicity." I'm not even kidding.
1. I miss you all.
Was this a lame way to end this? Yes. Does that make it any less accurate? No. You guys are fantastic and while I don't recognize a lot of faces filling up the C-Blogs these days, I'm still lurking about and reading blogs almost every day.
Writing for the C-Blogs made me a writer instead of someone who claimed to be one to impress girls. I attended PAX East this year as press, interviewing developers I've idolized for years, and wore the soles of my shoes right down to the rubber. I met writers I'd never thought would even respond to a tweet of mine. I've found my work in forums and subreddits and I've been called every possible negative thing in the world in comments section from here to Gamasutra.
I won't be anywhere close to all of that if it wasn't for writing here every week, trying to impress Knutaf, earn a comment from Stevil, warm Occam's lizard heart, give MrAndyDixon a boner, or live up to the expectations of every phenomenal writer on this blogroll.