One Random Thing About Me

One Random Thing About Me

287116977 fc3057bb10 192x300 - One Random Thing About Me

Is there anyone left among us who has not seen or been tagged by one of those “25 Random Things About Mememes? They are all the rage on blogs and Facebook, but enough already! I don’t think I could come up with 25 interesting things you’d want to know about me. Apparently, I’m not the only one. After reading some of the lists created, they seem to range from insightful and revealing to dull and boring.

In the spirit of keeping things simple and making networking fun, I’d like to know one thing about you. It can be something surprising, something no one else knows about you , a special accomplishment which is a source of pride, a unique experience you had while climbing Mt. Everest, whatever – it is up to you.

To kick things off, I’ll share that I once spent 18 months traveling on my own through Europe and the Middle East. I’d only planned to travel for about 3 weeks. Boarded the plane to London with a new backpack and a one-way ticket. A few snapshots: I befriended a woman in Aswan, Egypt with whom I shared no common language, yet we shared stories and swapped articles of clothing. I smuggled East German money through Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin Wall, sweating as the guards searched the person next to me. I was attacked by swans while sailing off the coast of Sweden. I quickly learned that adding fruit to German beer is a slice of heaven. All that, and a few other things along the way, made it the experience of a lifetime.

Now, it’s your turn…I invite you to share one thing about you.

Image courtesy of suesviews


  1. Mark Hundley February 11, 2009 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    I went to college (a small Baptist univ. in Abilene, TX) with Stedman Graham of Oprah connection and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn fame – even roomed with Ronnie! I have been and continue to be both amazed and inspired at their personal contributions to the world! Their influece helps me pursue my dreams!

  2. GrandpaDale Smith February 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    I peered into the darkness, turned on my side and squeezed into a narrow passage–it would turn out to be only 10″ wide in spots.

    I was at the back of Henshaw Cave, a cave in Tennessee mined for saltpeter to make gunpowder in the War of 1812 and again during the Civil War.

    Air poured through the crack into my face. There had to be huge caverns back there–but could I get there? Gradually I inched through what in cave lore became known as “The Meatgrinder.”

    After 15 minutes or so I came up through the floor of a larger passage. Soon I found on the walls and ceiling torch marks and dates from the 1800s! I had gone from Henshaw Cave into the heart of one of the largest caves in America, Higgenbotham Cave.

    My discovery led to a tunnel being excavated beside The Meatgrinder to connect the caves as Cumberland Caverns, one of America’s largest caves. With more than thirty miles of mapped passages it is comperable to Carlsbad Caverns. The story of this discovery is recounted in a number of books about caves.

    Betcha didn’t know that, Irene!

  3. Irene Koehler February 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    @Mark – I’ll be it must be interesting to have watched their stories progress given that you knew them long before any of us did.

    @GrandpaDale – What a story! And the way you recount it, it reads like an adventure novel.

  4. Sujata Chadha February 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    I speak German pretty fluently, though not a native of that country.

  5. Inga Ros February 11, 2009 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I have lived in 4 different countries (Iceland, Denmark, Germany and Kuwait), speak 4 languages fluently and a little bit in a couple more, have travelled to over 20 countries and truly consider myself a citizen of the world. No wonder I studied International Business Administration and Intercultural Management 😉

  6. Joanne Julius Hunold February 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    One random thing about me: I am neither left-handed nor right-handed, and I am not ambidextrous. I do some things only with my left hand, such as writing, and using a fork, and other things only with my right hand, such as using scissors, knife, sports. If it’s a new activity I get confused because I don’t know which hand to use; I have to experiment. Usually (but not always)i prefer my right hand for things that need strength or large muscle control, and left hand for fine muscle control. I once read that this condition is called “hand-specific” but most people give me a blank stare when I say this. 🙂 Oh well, it’s not like this topic comes up very often in conversation.

  7. Chandlee Bryan February 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    In my first job after college, I worked for a professional association of rocket scientists, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. They sent me to a conference in Huntsville Alabama where I helped with event logistics for a distinguished speaker. In advance of the event, our speaker–the real “Eugene Von Krantz,” Mission Control Director of Apollo 13–and his wife asked me to take pictures of them for “the kids.” I was so proud–I took the photo with an SLR camera and promised to send the photos quickly.

    When I developed the film, they were only transparent images and were somehow superimposed figures in pictures of my first apartment, a friend, and her dog. I had forgotten to take the film out. (Did I mention that the Von Krantz family was also upside down?) I felt “exposed” as the novice I really was.

    I’ve never forgotten it. Thanks, Irene for creating community once again!

  8. Irene Koehler February 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    @Sujata – Speaking another language fluently is always a great skill to have!

    @Inga – Hello to one of my two favorite people in Iceland! Maybe next, you should come to California. 🙂

    @Joanne – Fascinating how you’ve learned how to figure out what works best for you.

  9. Ed Rovera February 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    When I was 7 or 8 years old, I sold two gallons of gasoline to Cyrus Young, the gold medal winner of the javelin throw in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. I know that’s not as exciting as discovering a new entrance to a famous cave, but not all of your friends lead exciting lives, Irene.

  10. Kurt Swann February 11, 2009 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Here’s one random thing . . . I learned to fly a helicopter a couple of years ago. I didn’t have any particular reason for learning other that it was just one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do. It took about 6 months which was a little longer than necessary since I was out of town part of the time. Well worth it and quite an adventure! Some people like to play video games but nothing more fun than hovering a couple of feet above the ground and flying backwards, forwards, sideways or just spinning in a circle. Or even more fun was zooming low over the beach in San Diego! So Irene, that’s my humble submission to your worthwhile blog 🙂 @KurtSwann

  11. Danielle February 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    My parents married very young (I was one of those “have to” babies)…dad was 18, mom was 19; anyway my mother decided that being a homemaker wasn’t her gig, so she flew the coop when I was 2 (with a new boyfriend, her not me:-)!
    Anyway, my dad chased her around the country for 2 years and finally tracked her down and sued her for custody of moi…at the point she and the boyfriend decided that I was putting a major kink in their style; and she never showed up for the hearing. So there was a 22 yr old single guy (late ’60’s mind you) raising a 4 year old…my mom did a few halfhearted visits, but I never saw her after I turned about 6; haven’t seen her in over 35 years (actually like 38) but who’s counting:-)
    Thanks for letting me share Irene!

  12. Mary Sullivan February 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Years ago while traveling in Greece in the winter, my friend and I arrived in a small town on the island of Crete via the daily bus. It wasn’t until after the bus had pulled out that we found there were no available rooms in town for the night. Not one! But the Greeks are famous for their hospitality, and they found us a roof for over our heads that night. We slept on mats on the floor of the police station’s basement! It was hard and uncomfortable, but warm, and it beat sleeping outdoors. (When the bus rolled into town the next day, we were waiting to get on it!)

  13. Ruben February 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I often traveled with my family to Argentina when I was a child because my father is originally from Buenos Aires. But I always wanted to go alone so I could experience it more independently. In 92, right after my H.S. graduation, I got that chance and took off for what was suppose to be a two week long trip. I really enjoyed “Teenager” time with my cousins when I went back. Partying all night and sleeping all day through their famous “siestas.”

    What was suppose to be a two week trip turned out to almost three months. Primarily because I totally fell in lust with a beautiful Argentinean girl names Gabriella…She was gorgeous, witty, cultured and loved American culture. But she was very protective of me meeting her family. We grew very close during my stay. Traveling together to Rio and Bariloche. But as all good things come to an end, so did my stay. Reluctantly the time had come for us to say goodbye. We kept in touch via text message and phone calls at least twice a day. My phone bill was astronomical..Suddenly,she stopped calling. I desperately tried calling her to no avail. I was so desperate that I sent one of my cousins to track her down. After a month of no communication at all with Gabriela or my cousin, I got a call from my cousin that I will never forget. Gabriela was the daughter of one of Argentina’s most dangerous gangsters. She had been kidnapped and murdered as an act of revenge against her father. It’s been almost 20 years since I got the news. I’m now very happily married (who by the way has no idea about this) with two beautiful children. It’s been a while that she’s even crossed my mind, but tonight I am remembering Gabriela.

  14. Suzanne Garner February 11, 2009 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    Here’s a quick random thing: I was the first amateur female driver to drive a Formula One racecar on US soil.

  15. Irene Koehler February 11, 2009 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    @Chandlee – Oh no! I’ll bet you never made that mistake again. 🙂

    @Ed – All of my friends are living exciting lives, including you!

    @Kurt – I’ve never ridden in a helicopter, so can only imagine how exciting it must be to actually learn to control it.

    @Danielle – I’d guess that you and your Dad made a a great team.

    @Mary – Part of the allure of travel is that it can be unpredictable (which also means you may end up sleeping on the floor).

    @Ruben – Such a heart-wrenching experience. All the best to you.

    @Suzanne – Amazing! A true milestone.

  16. Janelle February 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Something random about me: I’ve lived in a total of 10 cities in 4 countries but now split time b/w 2 of them. Australia (4) – Rockhampton, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast (current). United States (3) – New York, Miami, Los Angeles (current). India (2) – Mumbai, Agra. Costa Rica (1) – Limon. The only language I speak though is English so I’ve had many a challenging time but I’ve learned to drive a hard bargain when shopping in markets!

  17. Ed Rovera February 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Rubin: I have a similar episode in my youth but it didn’t involve anyone’s death. Her father was a confidence man and she was under investigation for aiding and abetting her father. Long after the time we were together, I learned the truth about her secretive ways — mail addressed to another person coming to her home, midnight phone calls from her family that kept her up for hours,… I was even told that the FBI may have been watching her while we were dating. I doubt that is the case because if there was a connection between her and me in some dusty file in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover Building I never would have been offered that black badge job with the US Treasury back in 1983.

  18. Patrick Allmond February 11, 2009 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    My Quick and dirty random thing: I really do enjoy my shoe collection. That is always a challenge considering I have size 13 feet.

  19. Jim Connolly February 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Hello Irene,

    My ‘1 random thing’ is something Arnold Schwarzenegger once told my mom about me.

    He came to visit the gym where I boxed when I was just 13 years old. After watching me sparing, he told my mom; “That kid’s gonna go a long way – he’s got attitude.”

    He went on to be a massive movie star and ‘The Governator’ and I went into marketing 🙂

  20. Napoleon (P0_P0) February 12, 2009 at 1:21 am - Reply

    I’m into heavy machinery: forklift certified, ETO overhead crane operation – all thanks to nummi!

  21. Christine Rabel February 12, 2009 at 7:46 am - Reply

    One completely random thing…hmmm…I used to be the Club Pro at two Racquetball facilities (back when that was televised!), and got to compete in the Pro Circuit in Florida. Great fun, great exercise…and I haven’t done it now for 20 years!

  22. Paul Sinasohn February 12, 2009 at 10:31 am - Reply

    I’ve been singing since I was 6 years old. The largest audience I ever sang for was about 1500 people when I did my concert at World Expo in Brisbane Australia in ’88. My concert at Sydney’s Opera House complex was not as well attended. My favorite songs to sing in concert are comic victorian songs and Gilbert & Sullivan patter songs.

    @Ruben – I too fell in love with a lady named Gabriella. It did not end well. I understand your situation.

  23. Mariam Ispahani February 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    One thing about me… I am a left-hander in her right-mind!


  24. Stacy Reck February 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Many years ago I was working for a jewelry co and traveling the state of CT. One day I was in Old Saybrook, CT and at lunch wandered into a small meat market there for a sandwich. As I rounded a corner a woman with a large floppy brimmed hat crashed into me with her cart. Stunned, I looked up to respond just as she said, in a very distinct, shaky and yet familiar voice, “I’m so sorry my dear.” The woman turned out to be Katharine Hepburn. All of my young life I had wanted to meet her and finally I did!

  25. Richard March 31, 2009 at 8:32 am - Reply

    Years ago when traveling through Spain I met “Ingrid” We traveled together for a couple of days and she invited me to Rome to her home. Weeks later after visiting a friend in Civita di Bagnoreggio, (which is an hour north of Rome) I called her. “It’s Richard,”said I. “Richard who?” said she. “Richard from Spain,” said I, my heart sinking.
    “Ah, Richard from Spain!” (Phew!)
    So I visited Ingrid in Rome. She lived with her father who was conveniently traveling out of the country at the time – he was a stained glass maker – and Ingrid proceeded to cook for me every night for the next six nights. She was studying Art History and so took one day from her studies to show me all of Rome.
    By the time midnight came and we were climbing the steps up to her house my feet were bleeding.
    So she prepared me a nice foot bath of Epsom Salts.
    The End.

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