I honestly don't claim to know the pronunciation of the word "meme", but this is the third one that I have written on Active Rain. I really had to give it some thought to come up with five things that you don't already know about me, since I am very open with regard to my life when I write. I was tagged by Simon Conway a few days ago.
Without further ado, here we go:
1. I am good at impersonating others. I actually began working on voice impressions when I was about nine years old, as I was allowed to watch "Saturday Night Live" at a very early age (probably six or seven). I had tons of classic comedy albums as well (still have them), including Steve Martin, George Carlin, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Rich Little, and Richard Pryor. In my stepdad's collection, I was also exposed to Bill Cosby, the Smothers Brothers, and Bob Newhart. I spent countless hours listening to these records and memorizing the bits.
This ability to do impressions has come in handy in developing friendships over the years, because, let's face it, everyone enjoys a good impression. As a teenager, I could do spot-on impressions of my teachers and even some of my acquaintances. As an adult, I have lampooned former employers, fellow agents, clients, you name it. If someone has a distinctive voice or mannerisms, I can't really help myself. When I was in the restaurant business back in 1993 or 1994, I would go out with my friends and they would inevitably ask me to do my impression of one of several managers that we worked with. My crowning achievement was an impression of our mutual boss interacting with Elvis.
I asked my wife for some help compiling a list of decent impressions in my repertoire, and we came up with these: Johnny Carson, Pee Wee Herman, Kermit the Frog (and Ernie – almost exactly the same voice), Barney, Dieter from SNL, Alfred Hitchcock, Ronald Reagan, Grandpa from "Rugrats", Homer Simpson, Marlon Brando, many of Christopher Guest's characters, Da Bears guys, Matt Foley (Chris Farley's character), Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar, and others. As you can see, there is a heavy emphasis on kids' shows and SNL. I really prefer to have them surface naturally during conversations rather than "on demand".
2. In college, I was the president of my fraternity, Delta Chi. My nickname was "Otter", like the character from "Animal House". No, I am not joking. There were a number of reasons for this, but this is a family blog, so let's just say that I was good at networking and well-liked.
I was actually interested in being in another fraternity, but they didn't give me a bid because they didn't want my best friend at the time. I decided to start my own fraternity, and we were later affiliated with the national group. This was actually good training for running a brokerage later, since I was dealing with some pretty disparate personalities and trying to maintain focus and peace. Overall, it was a terrific leadership experience.
3. My wife and I are both only children, and my parents are both only children (so is my mother-in-law). We really wanted several children since we had never experienced having lots of kids in the house.
My parents were only kids because they were both adopted. Believe it or not, their adopted families had the same last name. Someone introduced them, thinking, "Wouldn't it be funny if they got married?" Well, they did get married, and my mom didn't have to change her last name, because it was already Crouch. They didn't stay married, and my stepdad legally adopted me in 1975, so I grew up with the last name Simmons.
In fact, everyone that knew me from kindergarten through high school would know me first as Jason Simmons. This was sometimes a good thing, since Gene Simmons and Kiss were popular when I was in grade school. It was also sometimes bad, since Richard Simmons' TV show took off around 1980 (fifth grade for me) and it was suddenly a less cool name to have.
In 1990, my grandmother really wanted me to change my name back to my birth name (Crouch), since my mom and stepdad had divorced and I had no connection to the Simmons family anymore. I figured it was a good time to do this since I hadn't started a career yet, so I went along with it. Only recently have I had more years with my current last name than with my adopted name.
4. Speaking of names, my middle name is Blaine. According to my mom, I was named after Blaine Nye, who was a two-time Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys (I was a fan before I was even born). I looked it up today, and it turns out that he and I are the same height, which I found somewhat interesting. You may also remember that the name Blaine was also prominently featured in "Pretty in Pink", as that was Andrew McCarthy's character who gets the girl. Honestly, I wish she had ended up with Duckie (Jon Cryer), but that's just me.
When I used to be in restaurant management, one of the waitresses was making fun of a rich customer, and she said, "He probably has some super-preppy name like Blaine." I told her that was my middle name, and she didn't believe me, so I showed her my driver's license to prove it. On a different note, I was later the best man at her wedding, since I played matchmaker for her and her future husband, who also worked for me at the time.
5. From the time I was a child until I was in college, I wanted to be a pediatrician. I worked in a hospital volunteering from the time I was 14 years old, then I did an internship with a general practitioner in Dallas, and he even allowed me to work with him in the ER at Lakewood Hospital and watch some of the gruesome stuff. None of that bothered me – it just seemed like part of what you do in order to become a physician.
When I started in my pre-med classes, I realized two things: I didn't have the serious science background to handle the biology and chemistry stuff as well, and I had no desire to be in school long enough to be a doctor.
Looking back on this, I am so thankful that I didn't go into medicine, as there is no way that I would have the time with my wife and kids that I currently enjoy. My kids are extremely important to me, and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to genuinely contribute to their upbringing as a hands-on dad.
Well, that wraps up this latest meme. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read about me. Happy new year!
For the next round of memes, I would like to tag two of my good friends, Adam Waldman and Julie Neerings. Additionally, since he sent me a personalized video message in the comments section of my last post (which was very cool), I would like to tag relative newbie Jeff Pickering.
Austin Real Estate Copyright 2008 Jason Crouch