1. I am related, on my mother’s side, to Guglielmo Marconi – the inventor of radio.
2. I was born with a profound binaural hearing loss, but I didn’t become “DeafGeoff” until I picked my first AOL screen name when I was 12 years old. The handle’s been with me ever since.
3. My three favorite musicians are BT, Z-Trip and Fatboy Slim. But if I was stranded on desert island and could only take one artist’s catalog with me, I’d take Tom Petty’s albums.
4. I’m a huge Shaquille O’Neal fan. I’ve owned his albums, movies, a collector’s plate, even his Shaq Fu video game. To this day, he’s still an amazing all-around person – he left college early for the NBA but still went back to finish college, he’s done police work in the off-season, conducted an orchestra and never anything even remotely controversial.
5. I have no tattoos or piercings, but I did once consider getting some ink on my back while waiting for a friend to get her tattoo.
6. I made my first website in 1996. It was called ‘The Page of Qaz’ and even had a site mascot: The Qazmanian Devil.
7. I made a bucket list in my high school. I only have three or four things left to do on it. Then I’ll make a new list.
8. Even though I grew up in Massachusetts, I was born in Tarzana, California. For years, I thought this entitled me to wear only Pacific Sunwear (now PacSun) clothing and listen to SoCal punk (Green Day and Sugar Ray, neither of which write punk songs anymore). I also ate pizza without the cheese on top, insisting that was “California-style” pizza. It’s not.
9. ASL? I know very little sign language, but I lipread and speak orally thanks to 10+ years of speech therapy.
10. I have never been arrested. [knock on wood]
11. I start a lot of conversations with “say hey,” which I think is something Willie Mays was known for doing. “Say hey, what are you doing this weekend?” “Say hey, who’s that guy who was in that movie that was out last year?”
12. I’m currently working on/thinking about writing two books. Both of them star a hopeful kid named Geoffrey.
13. I once almost strangled myself with a seatbelt. Accidentally. I was goofing around, wrapping it around my neck when the automatic lock started tightening around my neck.
14. I have one blond eyelash.
15. The Buffalo Bills were my favorite football team when I was a kid (during the, ahem, Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly years) even though I grew up in Massachusetts. Luckily, I grew out of it to become a Patriots fan.
16. I love speaking to students. I’ve been a guest speaker for numerous high school and junior high schools, I’ve been a keynoter for Disability Mentoring Day, I’ve shared my experiences with special needs students and I’ve organized multiple learning conferences for Syracuse University students.
17. The first concert I went to was Bob Dylan.
18. Out of 206 bones in the human body, I have broken five in my life: left clavicle, left thumb, left cheekbone, right fibula, right tibia.
19. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was in my teens. Some of them appeared in the school literary magazine under my favorite pen name, “the anonymous hater of nameless authors.”
20. I started wearing rings and necklaces when I was 12 years old – not effeminate jewelry, just style I was comfortable with (or certain ones had personal meaning) but I stopped wearing the necklaces when I turned 20 (Marty liked to wrestle me and broke one or two of them) and only recently stopped wearing rings (after I broke my leg).
21. I don’t like hot liquids – no coffee, tea or soup for me. Rarely, I’ll have a hot chocolate.
22. In addition to the six years I worked for Clear Channel radio, I’ve worked at Blockbuster Video, Osco Drug (now Rite Aid), and Victoria’s Secret.
23. I now work as an Associate Producer for syracuse.com, but I still get compliments for funny stuff I did on the radio “this morning.”
24. Before mainstreaming in public schools, I attended the Willard School, a preschool for the deaf and hard-of-hearing in Concord, Massachusetts.
25. I write notes to myself constantly: song mixes and mashup ideas, books I’m meaning to buy, top 5 lists, groceries I need, what Brittany’s favorite drink at Starbucks is, et cetera. I make most of the notes on my phone or computer, but I keep a pen in my pocket at all times because I’m phobic about wanting to write something down and forgetting it.
26. My senior quote in the high school yearbook was from a Red Hot Chili Peppers song: “If I should die before I waked, allow me lord to rock out naked.”
27. I turned 27 today.