C for Corey

Yeah, me too.

1. I’m a native Texan, and believe that to be an honor bestowed to only The Chosen.

2. Great grandfather was a Texas Ranger in Laredo, Grandfather was in the Shooting Stars (USAF version of the Blue Angels), Uncle was a SEAL. Apparently, military aptitude skips a generation every now and then. I’m afraid of guns and TERRIFIED of flying.

3. I liked pop music before I liked girls.

4. I went to three colleges in two states over 7 years to get a degree. My grades from the first two were so bad, the third one pretended like I had just graduated from high school.

5. My folks were on the committee for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (the world’s largest livestock show and second largest rodeo) every year. For two weeks every February, I slept in an executive box overlooking an Astrodome filled with dirt and manure while now-dead Country Legends performed and competed. I woke up the first time I heard Garth Brooks.

6. Southern accents are my security blanket.

7. My mom bought my first electric guitar when I was 12. It stayed under my bed until I was 13 when I pulled it out to start learning (out of jealousy towards another friend who was getting much better than me… I’m sure he still is).

8. My folks divorced when I was 2. I called my step dad “Jim” to his face, and “my dad” behind his back. I still call my real dad “Dad” to his face and “my real dad” behind his back.

9. My earliest memories of weekends with my real dad were him teaching me why Batman is cooler than God and how to work his record player so I could hear Elvis sing.

10. I’m 33 and still a die-hard Batman nerd.

11. Guitar Player’s Dirty Little Secret: I don’t get Jimi Hendrix. But I continue to buy his records to acquire the taste.

12. I’ve had the same Bible since I was a freshman in high school. It has a book cover on it that matches Eddie Van Halen’s famous striped guitars.

13. The only reason I went to a Christian School was because my older brother was expelled for bringing a pipe bomb to school in the Spring of my 8th grade year, right before I was supposed to enter that high school. We went to a rural Lutheran school with a student body of 80 instead.

14. I don’t remember when I came to faith, but it was started at that school and is still a work-in-progress.

15. Starting in the 7th grade, my New Year’s resolution every year was to lose my virginity. 

16. My folks thought I was a “Jesus Freak” in high school and college. In the last year before they died, they each asked me to pray for them and for insight into what it meant to be a Christian.

17. I named my first born after Nolan Ryan.

18. I named my second born after a counselor that I met at a christian camp.

19. My name is Corey because my mom thought I was going to be a girl. My brother would argue that she was right.

20. The longest I’ve ever lived in one house is 3.5 years (and counting).

21. In the 6th grade I wanted to be Marty McFly. In the 7th grade I wanted to be Maverick. In the 8th grade I wanted to be Richie Sambora.

22. I begged my mom for glasses as a senior in high school only because I wanted something on my face to offset the size of my nose. Turns out I really needed them. With better vision, my nose looked even bigger.

23. My first crush was a girl named Sally at day care when I was 4. My second girlfriend was from the 3rd grade to the 5th grade. We broke up because her folks moved her out here to Laguna Beach.

24. Most Painful Unrealized Dream: I never got to be a safety patrol. Chicks dug the orange belt with a badge.

25. My senior year of high school I was voted Funniest Guy. I also won awards for Best Creative Writer, Best Actor, and Best Artist. 

26. I had a crush on the same girl all 4 years of high school. She decided we should be Best Friends Forever instead.

27. My first job was sacking groceries as a 15 year old. 

28. I’m from Texas and have been around rural areas my whole life, but I’ve only been on a horse twice. Once in 1983, on vacation here in California with my granny, and once in Norco, CA when Beth and I were dating and I was trying to impress her.

29. Speaking of which, I’ve only been on one roller coaster in my whole life. It’s the big one at State Line in Nevada, and I only rode it to impress Beth while we were dating.

30. To recap: I’m afraid of guns, flying, roller coasters, horses, ghosts, snakes, and spiders. Talking in front of large groups is no problem and there’s almost nothing that I’m afraid to say to somebody.

31. I still have my childhood comic book collection.

32. I spend as much time holding and looking at my guitars as I do playing them. 

33. Granny taught me to love the movies. Going to the theater was sacred to me until I learned to go to church. I have to admit, for most of the last 20 years, I’ve still preferred the movies.

34. People used to say I was happy-go-lucky growing up. 

35. Now people think I’m grumpy, an a-hole and usually 5-10 years older than I really am.

36. I think my real dad is one of the smartest men alive.

37. Mom was beautiful and my real dad was a handsome jock. I’m pretty sure I was adopted.

38. My mom, my brother and I were on welfare after my mom and real dad split up. When my mom married Jim, he was a millionaire. Just add oxygen and you have two spoiled rotten brats.

39. For the last 10 years, I’ve been buying size 9.5 or 10 shoes because I thought big feet looked funny. Two months ago I found a pair of shoes that I liked for $4, the only problem is that they were size 11. Turns out, that’s my size. Yay big feet. Boo shoes 3 sizes too small.

40. I went through a 5 year period where I (quite literally) thought I was the most intelligent person I knew. It ended when I met Mike Lee and had to ask him what every 10th word in the conversation meant.

41. When I was in the third grade, my much-older babysitter taught me how to french kiss. 

42. I secretly want to be a drummer.

43. I twist the lyrics of most pop songs I hear so that they either become a song from God to man or a song from man to God.

44. One of my first paid guitar gigs was only 7 years ago with Mike Lee. When I got the call, I tried to talk him out of it.

45. Favorite 3 movies: Batman is always number 1, Lean On Me is always number 2, and I always leave the third slot open for whatever I’ve seen in the last few months.

46. The ONLY evidence I have that I’m not gay is that I’m attracted to females and not males. But I loves me some shoes, and all the product in my hair could go up in flames at any second.

47. For three years, I carried a notebook around in my back pocket and wrote down famous quotes that I’d heard or read. I stopped doing it because I was never using them.

48. I’m fascinated by the power of words and I have a lifetime of respect for those with Shakespearean accuracy for saying so much with so little. NOT a gift that I have.

49. The N word is the most profane of all words. A close second is it’snotmyfault.

50. When I was in Middle School, Jesse Jackson was trying to run for President. I lobbied to have people vote against him because I was afraid that he and the other Christians would take the good shows off of TV.

51. At Concordia University, I was the mascot for one basketball season. My girlfriend was the starting point guard on the girl’s team that went to Nationals that year. A little mixed up?

52. Smoking cigarettes is one of the most vulgar things I can imagine doing to my own mouth. It doesn’t really bother me to be around others doing it though.

53. I was engaged twice. I only married once. (I stole this from Beth.)

54. When my daughter was born, I was playing an Amway gig in Palm Springs with Rosy. I stopped playing in the middle of “Proud Mary” so one of my best friends and his wife could give me the play-by-play by phone. (note: please forward all sneers and scoffs to Beth’s email address. She’s fielding those comments.)

55. The idea of alien abduction keeps me up at night sometimes.

56. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been pretty sure that I’m gonna die from a gunshot.

57. Our kitchen isn’t that big, but sometimes all five of us stand in there and talk and laugh. The fact that my kids think I’m funny is the greatest compliment I can think of.

58. I spend an unhealthy amount of time ruminating on my mistakes.

59. I’ve refused anti-depressants for years out of fear that they’d impede my creativity.

60. When my brother and I were young, my mom pushed him towards athletics and me towards art so that we’d never be in competition with one another. This is ironic because he’s a severe asthmatic and my real dad (the jock) says I’m much more naturally athletic.

61. I use humor as a defense mechanism.

62. My wife, my kids, and my work are the reason I believe in The Gospel.

63. I’m pleasantly shocked by the moral compasses of those around me these days. As a youngster, I can’t remember a compass that wasn’t spinning wildly.

64. I have a guilty conscience like you wouldn’t believe. I have volunteered a confession for just about every large-scale wrongdoing in my life. Usually within a day.

65. I believe that my cell phone is giving me a tumor in my left ear. It makes me value my family time more.

66. When people apologize to me, I often say, “don’t worry about it. Life’s too short to get upset about much of anything.” In reality, I frustrate easily and mull it over for longer than I should. 

67. I suck at poker. Probably because I don’t care for the bluffing part.

68. I wear my English degree like a Safety Patrol belt. I corrected Beth’s first love letter to me. Ironically, I don’t proofread my own stuff out of laziness.

69. I type the word “y’all” in emails as if it were grammatically correct.

70. I feel morally inadequate compared to most of the people I’ve met since moving to California.

71. When I moved here, I flew into John Wayne Airport with 5 guitars and 3 suitcases. I spent the entire day sitting at baggage claim trying to figure out how I was going to get to the college campus. I’d never seen the school, I just knew I wanted to leave home. 

72. I tried to give myself nicknames growing up, hoping they would catch on. Thank God they didn’t. If I was known as Scooter or Skippy right now…

73. I have been going to therapy for the last five years and love it. It’s like hiring an arbitrator while you’re negotiating with yourself.

74. The only thing that keeps me from stalking John Mayer is that I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on when I told people I’m not gay.

75. I want to be able to play jazz, not because I like it, but because people have more respect for that than pop or country.

76. I can add numbers in my head quickly. Not “Rain Man” quick, but quick enough.

77. When I find clothes I really like, my first impulse is to go back and buy the exact same thing so I have a backup. 

78. To steal a sentiment from Ghandi, I really dig God. However, many of His people suck ass.

79. I’ve never been good looking enough to date a really really hot girl. I did happen to marry one, though. Thank God there’s at least one girl that I find stunning who thinks it’s more important to be funny than good looking. In short, I married waaaay up.

80. I used to read philosophy books because I thought they would make me socially intelligent. Instead. they made me a bigger prick.

81. I fancy myself a songwriter. 

82. When I microwave food, I never set the time in factors of five or ten.

83. Favorite Literature: Frankenstein for the writing style, The Scarlet Letter for the themes, Ethan Frome because I’ve lived parts of it.

84. I once saw a life-size painting of Nolan Ryan in his wind-up. It was so lifelike with the exception of a faint, fluorescent green outline around him. That day I realized that, to artistically record life, one must include appropriately placed oddities. 

85. I’m sorry.

86. I miss Texas in an idyllic sort of way. I don’t think I could ever go back.

87. Beth taught me to love onions, ethnic food, tomatoes, and sushi.

88. On average, I drink a pot or two of coffee every day.

89. My nature tells me to write awkward, personal, sensitive things on this list. I have to remind myself of the repercussions. 

90. I once was lost but now am found. And by “once”, I mean “ten minutes ago” and “ten minutes from now”.

91. I’m a font whore. 1400 and counting.

92. I wore braces from the 3rd grade to the 8th grade. You can’t really tell.

93. In high school, I couldn’t be trusted with a compliment from a female. I automatically assumed it meant she had a crush on me.

94. When I buy a new guitar, the deciding factor is what I think I’ll look like playing it. That’s embarrassing.

95. I was a waiter at Olive Garden.

96. I started watching pro basketball in ’95 because of Charles Barkley.

97. I’m apolitical.

98. I’ve been in one fist fight. I punched first and punched hard… with my eyes closed. Once I realized what I’d done, I ran away. He caught me and beat the hell out of me.

99. The thought of my kids growing up without a dad makes me sick to my stomach.

100. I left the best stuff off this list. A social poker face is the key to wisdom. :)

9 thoughts on “C for Corey

  1. michael lee

    #11 (Hendrix) Wow. Just, wow. I’ll explain it to your when your older.

    #26 (BFF) Oh, the pains of unrequited love.

    #28 & 29 (doing scary things to impress Beth) We call that “PGS”, or Pretty Girl Syndrome. Guys will wrestle an alligator to the ground while watching a Hugh Grant movie under the influence of PGS

    #39 (shoes) Why the plural? Surely no man needs more than one pair of shoes, right?

    #42 (drummer) Don’t we all.

    #54 (birth of your daughter) Gretchen still shakes her head in disbelief at this one.

    #59 (anti-depressants) Ditto.

    #68 (correcting Beth’s love letter) That might be the single jerkiest thing I’ve ever heard.

    #72 (nicknames) Well, guess what, Skippy …

    #79 (marrying up) Welcome to the club. We have T-Shirts. I think this is true of every single guy I know. Certainly every guy who hangs out at the blog (hey bobby!)

    #88 (coffee) lightweight

    #93 (compliment = crush) No, she does have a crush on you. I know because all girls everywhere also have crushes on me.

    #97 (apolitical) I don’t know if that’s actually possible, unless you mean apathetically political.

    #99 (no dad around) Oh man. yeah.

    #100 (poker face) Truer words were never spoken, Skippy.

  2. Karen

    54. Bobby played one of those Amway gigs as well. I would have killed him even if he stopped playing in the middle of Proud Mary…sorry, I know those comments are supposed to go to Beth.

    69. Apparently ya’ll is grammatically correct in the south…along with “Might Could”

    89. I understand that one all too well.

    Thanks for sharing Corey!

  3. june

    #82 (microwaving not in 5′s or 10′s) Wow. I’m pretty sure I always do.

    Let’s go shoe shopping sometime and, I don’t think #94 is lame at all because you do wear a guitar really.

    These lists make me like ya’ll even more.

  4. Morphea

    Very well done, Corey. I’m grateful for this insight into you. You know – I think Texas’ state motto should be something like “So wrong, yet somehow so right” – I lived there for 1 1/2 years.


  5. Gretchen

    You are so stinkin’ funny. I loved your list. Thanks for sharing it, Skippy.
    22/37/79/92- you’re really not a bad looking guy Corey. Give Beth some credit, and your kids are darn cute. Are you saying they have none of your genes?
    41. Ewwww. That’s just wrong.
    51. What was the mascot?
    56. Maybe this is why you’re scared of guns
    57. The kitchen is the social hub of any home, isn’t that funny, since there is no where to sit? I love the picture of all of you laughing together in the Kitchen.

  6. June

    The combination of very little sleep, Starbucks, my sweet lil’ hobbit child snuggled up to me and Corey’s 100 list from the archives has been a good way to start the morning.

    I suppose I should actually get out of bed now. Argh.

    I love 3 from the archives. It’s getting to be like Seinfeld episodes…even though you know what’s coming, you’re still up for it and chuckling from the very beginning.

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