Monday, December 5, 2005

Who is The Phoenix?

The motivation for me creating this blog was to both inform and entertain. Personally, it's me just getting back to writing for an audience. For those that regularly come here, I want to thank you for making this such a wonderful experience. One thing this blog is not, however, is a personal journal.

Many of you are curious about me and I've been tagged at least a dozen times. I apologize for not participating, but because of the nature of this blog, you won't see me indulging online. However, I would like to share just a few random things about myself to satisfy your curiosity. I hope the following gives you a better idea about the kind of person I am, and at the same time allow me to maintain my comfort level of privacy. Or maybe you're not curious and you wish for me to get back to my regular posts...if that's the case, I apologize and urge you to return in a couple days.

1) I was born in the Bronx. I share my birthday with Alyssa Milano, Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy), Reggie White (ex-Packers lineman), Jake Plummer (Broncos quarterback), Warren Sapp (Raiders tackle), Daryl Hannah, and Tim Reid (played 'Venus Flytrap' on WKRP in Cincinnati).

2) I was a high school English teacher for five years. I taught 9th and 10th grade. Overall, it was a great experience, but I couldn't stand being in one room all day long. My problems were never with the kids, just their parents.

3) I received a Division I athletic scholarship for tennis. I played one year and decided that college tennis sucked. My fellow teammates were egomaniacs, and my coach was always breaking NCAA rules. The men's program folded less than two years later, so no blood on my hands.

4) I love Star Wars. George Lucas' masterpiece takes me back to childhood. I've passed my love for all things Star Wars to my 5 year old son, Little Phoenix. He's been known to hum the Emperial March song when we're out.

5) Seafood makes me sick. However I love chocolate, Gummi Coke bottles, french fries, and warm chocolate chip cookies - not all at once of course. That's gross.

6) I am neither Republican or a Democrat. It seems that I do lean to the right a little bit, but that may be because my right leg is shorter than my left. OK, that's not true, although I do believe my right foot is slightly bigger than my left.

7) I have great admiration for those that play musical instruments. I did take up the clarinet in grade school, but quit in the 6th grade after the band teacher made me uncomfortable.

8) My parents are immigrants from the Philippines, so many people would say that I'm Filipino-American. That's fine with me. But if anyone asks me what my nationality is, I always say "American." If the Philippines went to war, I wouldn't go over there and take up arms. But if America was attacked, I would die defending her.

9) I have written two complete novels in my lifetime, each around 500 pages. I wrote them in college, and I really have no idea where the hell I put them.

10) On the Myers-Briggs Personality test, I am an ENFJ. With the Keirsey Temperament tests, I am a Teacher Idealist. I also have a nack for eidetic imagery, a.k.a. "photographic memory."

11) In college, I was a Sigma Nu.

12) In high school, I was a big slacker. I never really tried very hard and I was more interested in after school activities and socializing. In college, however, I became studious and graduated magna cum laude. Amazing what paying for your own schooling will do.

13) I was near death in 2002. Maybe someday I'll write about it, I don't know. I don't even talk about it.

14) I'm very competitive, and I am a terrible loser. From ping pong to air hockey, I play to win. You wanna piece 'a me???

15) I also have a great admiration for those that write poetry. I cannot do it, nor will I ever. Anything I write always ends up a minimum of 50 pages.

16) Superman is my favorite superhero, and I still wear Superman shirts. I own four of them...actually I own five but my Superman baseball raglan got put in with the reds and now it's pink. I'm not wearing a pink Superman shirt.

17) I can do a few impressions. I do a wonderful Ernie from Sesame Street, Shaggy and Scooby Doo, Adam Sandler (particularly from The Water Boy, The Turkey Song, and Hanukkah Song), and the stereotypical Middle Eastern man working at 7-11.

18) I was raised Catholic, although I'm more spiritual than religious.

19) My most memorable Christmas present was from Santa, and it was a chess set. It had the typical black and white board, but the chess pieces were translucent white and blue plastic. I have no idea why thinking about that chess set evokes such feelings of satisfaction, as I don't like chess at all. It's my earliest Christmas memory, and I think I was 5 years old.

20) My very first kiss was in the 1st grade and her name was Liana. Unfortunately, I also lived on a street named Liana. So when I told all my neighborhood buddies about it, they all thought I was so full of it.


Jim said...

the Sigma Nu is not correct -- you can then delete this -- Jim

the weirdgirl said...

Very nice, Phoenix. It was cool to learn some new things about you. I'm SO impressed that you have written two novels! (And I promise to stop tagging you... except maybe to give you a hard time.)

Love the superhero character.

The Phoenix said...

Thanks jim...after blogger went down and stuff, it was still acting a little strange. I changed that URL, but it looks like it didn't stick.

WG, thanks. I really can't find either manuscript, and they're both pretty bad anyway.

kyknoord said...

The original Buffy? NOW we're talking!

delmer said...

I don't know how anybody puts up with the parents of the kids they are watching over. I've seen parents lose it at T-Ball games.

When I was a freshman in college (Miami U, Ohio) our Sigma Nu house burned down. I don't recall what caused it. This was waaaaay before meth labs.

Thanks for the insight into what makes The Phoenix tick.

Sherri said...

Wow, thanks for the peek Phoenix. I liked the American line. For some reason, it sticks with me.

angel, jr. said...

Very impressive. My sister was the most winningest female tennis player at the university she attended. 13 years later, she still holds that title. I've wanted to write the sports board and tell them that winningest isn't a word.
My first degree was in journalism (with a minor in English). Unfortunately going back to get a degree in biology and then onwards to medical school, I've lost my ability to express myself eloquently. I exchanged prose for clinical skills.
Write what you want, without apology. It's your blog and we're the audience who keeps coming back, regardless.

KC said...

Nice to "meet" you, Phoenix! Even without this post giving us insight into who you are, I already found you fascinating. Keep it up!

angel, jr. said...

Oh and, my parents came over from the Philippines as well in the 60's.
Like you, I consider myself an American. I realized how much my heart belongs to America, when I ventured over to those islands for medical school. It was the longest 5 years of my life. I remember one FIlipino physician asking me if I considered myself Filipino. I told my race is Filipino however, my heart, my soul and my blood is American.When you live away from the U.S., you realize just how much you love it.

BuffyICS said...

Ah Star Wars, one of the few movies I can watch relentlessly and never tire of them. Ever.

Kid Jacque said...

I was wonderful that you shared pieces of yourself with us.

Thanks, I enjoyed learning about you!

crallspace said...

Not to insult YOUR impersonations, but when everyone in high school used to walk around the halls trying to quote Adam Sandler, I wanted to beat their ass.

And most white guys that do the Indian guy impersonation are quite annoying... especially this one guy I met at a party who kept doing and wouldn't stop until I finally gave him a polite laugh.

Andrew said...

Nice to read so much about you, Phoenix, although now there's just a little less mystique! ;)

:P fuzzbox said...

I agree with you about being tagged, while I have done it when it interests me. Most of the time I stick to my own agenda, although from time to time it can be rather eye-opening to answer these tagged questions.

melly said...

Okay... my bad, I haven't been around in a while and didn't see you changing the whole thing around. (I'm not wrong, am I?)
So nice to meet you. Again :)

NowhereGirl said...

I don't know Phoenix... I like the little peek. Though, you are gonna leave us wanting more...

Reiki said...

I liked this post Phoenix. thanks for sharing. I Love Tennis! What's not to love about a sport that encourages me to wear short skirts and special underwear with pockets for your balls?

Laurie said...

Phoenix, I loved that! It was nice to learn a little about the guy behind the blog!

Smart, funny, interesting.. but are you single? ;-)

I work with a lot of Filipino nurses, and I just love when they bring in their home cooking, especially panzit (sp?), which is my fave!

ps - thanks for linking me with my own little brick button! :-)

Keshi said...

That was the most interesting from ur blog mate :) So good to know u more...

**Seafood makes me sick.

aww Seafood is my fav!

**not all at once of course. That's gross.

LOL sweet...

**My parents are immigrants from the Philippines

Would never have guessed..cos u sound very American...

**I was near death in 2002

Guess this was what u mentioned in my post the other day...interesting but gut-wrenching...

** I can do a few impressions.

very interesting :) I like listening to such ppl...and laughing ofcourse :)

**So when I told all my neighborhood buddies about it, they all thought I was so full of it.

ROFL! cuttte...


aiRah said...

i was surprised you're a Filipino-American. like what keshi said, you're very american.

anyway, you should've known by now that I'm a Filipina. it's kinda sad to know that you don't care about the philippines (somehow).

but i can't blame you. most of your life was spent there. right? i've got no choice but to respect your opinions. besides, this is your blog. i should stop ranting about not loving philippines (when in fact, i'm also kinda fed up with the never-ending political controversies here. ack.)

anyway, that's just me. have a nice day!

The Phoenix said...

This has been an interesting set of responses...

I really do hope my blog both informs and entertains, as that's my greatest wish for my writing.

Interesting how I "sound American." And yes, I still do care about the Philippines, as I have family there. But I pledge allegiance to the United States flag, as I am a natural born citizen. My cultural background is Filipino, that's for sure.

But I am a U.S. citizen, the first one in my family born outside of Spain and the Philippines.

Pixie said...

Thanks pheonix, that was really interesting to read =) I have a friend who is an English teacher ( back in the UK ) and I am positive that she would agree with you that its the parents who cause her the most trouble heh.

Casually Me said...

Interesting. Are you into speaking about yourself in the third person, like Costanza did? The Phoenix is not happy, the Phoenix is bored. You seem to be happy about who you are, or at least comfortable in your own skin. Good for you. Some would call it conceit, but I don't see a lot of that in your writing.

DLAK said...

Hey bud, that is way to much writing and words and stuff for me to read, I just wanted to say Hey, Hey.

Dirk the Feeble said...


You're spiritual but not religious?

What kind of shit is that? Does that mean you want to go to Heaven but you don't want to go to church?

I think you need an entire blog entry dedicated to explaining that phrase. I hear that all the time and I have NO IDEA what it means.

cube said...

Congratulations. You're braver than I am.

The Phoenix said...

Good point Armaedes...

Let me clarify. I use the words "religious" and "spiritual" more in the connotations of those two words.

I believe in God, and I happen to be a Christian.

However, "religious" is also associated with devoutly practicing those beliefs (i.e. going to Church, receiving the host, etc. for Catholics). There are a few specific things I do not agree with the Vatican.

Therefore, I do not go to Church every Sunday and receive holy communion. However, I still carry many of the core beliefs of the Catholic faith and I refrain from condemning other faiths, like Baptists or Muslims.

You're probably going to hear more and more people calling themselves more spiritual than religious, as being religious sometimes is associated with faith-elitism and faith-separation.

For me, I can relate to anyone that believes in God, no matter their denomination or specific religion. The only ones I can't relate to are atheists.

Maybe I'm like this because of my near death experience, I don't know.

I hope that clarifies my "shit." If you have further questions, feel free to e-mail me via my link on the right sidebar of my blog. I might answer them.

Kay said...

Hmmm... most of us want to go to Heaven but not go to church.

Cool post.

Meagan said...

Yay! A blog all about the Phoenix!

love meagan
p.s. Yes, I would play piano for you all when we go out to lunch in our minivan :-)

ObilonKenobi said...

Great peek into the person who is Phoenix. I understand completely the following things about you:

1. Being Spiritual without being religious. For the most part, religious people can't understand this. It's because you need to be in their "group" to go to heaven, no questions asked. Be a terrible person outside of the "group" but you still get to heaven. Can't stand that mentality. What is wrong with being spiritual but not necessarily eating everything a religion feeds you, especially a very orthodox version of a religion. I am Jewish and consider myself spiritual but am not orthodox. I do not keep Kosher, dress like others in the orthodox sect, study Torah everyday but I still consider myself kin of those other Jews. I just don't belong to their "group." Same as some who do not follow everything about the Vatican. Or those who belive in every single thing they tell you to. Yes, Virginia, you can be spiritual and not religious. yes the world is not black and white, it is composed of many shades of gray.

2. Star Wars. I have loved this film since I was a young child. I will probably have a special post on my website regarding why.

3. Superman. I like my superheroes invulnerable and god-like thank you. Not whinny and nerdy.

4. You were an English teacher. Cool. Who knew?

Great post.

Jillian said...

For your number 10 - I am the Guardian. I didn't buy the other test but anything in that category kind of seems kind of...not really like me ha ha. :-)

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