big buts at the train tracks

Jon Henner

Jon Henner
November 26
full time father, full time deaf activist, some times writer, most times thinker, all times wandering.


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DECEMBER 29, 2008 4:00PM

(1/4) * 100 - Because I am a follower

Rate: 14 Flag

1.    I am intensely competitive.  I strive to be the best at, or at least better than most, at almost everything I do.  Some people refuse to play games with me because they don’t like losing.

2.    I got in trouble at school so many times as a kid that my parents joked that I was on the principal’s speed dial.  

3.    I am extremely opinionated, but cannot grasp the subtleties of social interaction.  Consequentially, I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up.

4.    When I hit my growth spurt at 13, we found that one of the growth plates in my left knee fused while I was developing.  My leg grew at a 45-degree angle instead of the acceptable variations of 180 degrees.  While surgery fixed my leg, it’s still a bit shorter than my right.  When I walk, I sway my hips.  This, unfortunately, is a man-magnet.

5.    I joined the Socialist party when I was 15.  That same year, I tried to join the ACLU.  Not having any money, I opted for the minimum membership contribution ($0).  Later, I received a letter thanking me for my donation, but no membership card.

6.    Before I left Chicago for Phoenix, I decided to visit the Art museum.  That day, the cost of admissions was optional.  Guests could pay as little or as much as they wanted.  Not having any money, I wandered the streets of Chicago until I stumbled upon change.  The woman taking admissions remarked that I was the first person to ever pay a penny for admissions.

7.    Although I’m a slight man, I enjoy physical sports.  My history reflects this.  I’ve played at one time or another ice hockey, Greco-roman, freestyle, and folk wrestling, football, and marital arts.

8.    I’m an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  The arts stuff doesn’t interest me.  I just like hitting people with sticks (See 7.)

9.    Many people tell me that I ought to model.  In spite of that, I never had much luck with women.  My first kiss was at 18.  I didn’t lose my virginity until I was almost 20. And, I’ve only dated two women.  The second, I married.  (See 3.)

10.    I was a dancer in college, specializing in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop.  Gay men used to find me in clubs and offer me money to strip.   (See 4.)

11.    When I was about 5, I really wanted to be Alice from Alice in Wonderland.  Looking back, I probably just wanted to have sex with her and that manifested into wanting to be her.

12.    Although American Sign Language now is my preferred method of communication, I didn’t learn it until I was in high school.  Before then, I was instructed using the oral/total communication philosophy (Think lots and lots of speech therapy, and teachers begging me to use my “lovely” voice when communicating).

13.    I first logged onto the Internet when I was 11, back in 1994.  My computer was an old Hewlett Packard.  It ran at a blistering 33mhz and had a 2400-baud modem.  We used Prodigy.  My first foray into a P* chat room ended up with someone pinging me to see if I had hair on my testicles yet and if I wanted to cyber (It was a kids chat room).

14.    I develop crushes constantly.  This coupled with the fact that I’m an incessant and incurable flirt, griefs my wife.  I try to keep both under control (Saturn Smith, if you’re reading this, marry me please.  We won’t tell my wife).  

15.    I bought my first motorcycle when I was 18. having saved since 13.  It was a Harley Davidson 2001 XL883.  Since then, I’ve owned 4 motorcycles and traveled over most of the country on them.

16.    My junior year in high school, the knee fixed at 13 decided to blow out on the football field.  I tried wrestling with it but wasn’t able to handle the pain.  My literature teacher, hearing of my problems, invited me to join the debate team.  Even though it was midway through the debate season, my teacher felt I’d learn enough to contribute the next year.  I ended up winning each tournament I entered, and eventually took first in the state competition (See 1.).

17.    I built my first computer at 14 and opened a software company at 15.  By 16, I decided girls didn’t like computer nerds and instead focused more on the arts.  Now I have two liberal arts degrees and no job.  How about that?

18.    I was kicked out of the Deaf Education program at Illinois State University.  My professors felt I lacked the moral fortitude to be a good teacher.  Before students are kicked out, they must be written up at least three times.  My first write up came after I told a professor that I didn’t think I could feel any empathy for parents of the deaf.  I reasoned that parents who focused on their own problems instead of providing their children early intervention care were being selfish.  Write up number two came after I told a teacher at an oral school exactly what I thought of her unwillingness to use visual language.  Write up number three wrapped up my career as a future teacher of the deaf.  I decided to stage a mini-protest against using assessments that weren’t normed on deaf children.  Oops.

19.    I considered myself an ardent feminist until I took a course on feminist writers.  After that, I decided I was content to be a humanist instead.

20.    Although relatively slow to anger, once there, I can’t calm my self down easily.  Recently, I read that a lot of men are like that.  Apparently we evolved to stay for lengthily times in the flight-or-fight response.  But, then again, I think a lot of evolutionary theory is bupkus.  

21.    When I first arrived at college, I decided I was going to be a theology major.  I failed an introductory Hebrew class shortly thereafter and gave up on that career path.

22.    I am an incurable geek.  I collect graphic novels and have mini fan-gasms when I see the actors and actresses from my favorite sci-fi TV series.  For my birthday, I made my wife take me to the Star Trek exhibit at the museum.

23.    Among the many jobs I’ve applied for since losing my career was a porn writer.  The application required a sample of my erotic writing.  I guess my piece wasn’t splooge worthy since I never got a call-back

24.    I dream of becoming a rock star.  The fact that I can’t play an instrument or sing isn’t stopping me.  Hell, it didn’t stop Paris Hilton.

25.    My presence attracted evangelists for the longest time.  Eventually I got sick of them and decided to read the bible cover-to-cover.  They stopped coming around once they figured out I could argue bible with them and win.

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"3. I am extremely opinionated, but cannot grasp the subtleties of social interaction. Consequentially, I wasn’t the most popular kid growing up."

:D no, I don't relate to that one at all!
I, too, am plagued by #14 and share your assessements in #19. Excellent list.
Great stuff.
Illinois are idiots. That stuff does not go on in my classes. Antique thinking...
The ACLU thing is hilarious. Points up the fact that large NGOs can be just like corporations. Hell, ar,e corporations.
SCA is great. I would dig the illumination.
The flirting...well...The next time it happens, observe closely the woman who--8 times out of 10--will then make eye contact with your wife. That look says''"Huh, I guess you ain't so hot." It's that look that will earn you a divorce. Trust me on this.
Peace out.
Why not try the model thing? If you got it, flaunt it? Or, what is up with the computer knowledge -- can you expand on that? We have no one that can repair computers properly where I live -- I bet that is the case everywhere in small town America...and yes, I know software is not the same as hardware...
Like this post -- rated!
Hyblaen: We should start a club. I've already a good name. How about the "Fuck Off and Die Club for the Bright and Socially Awkward"? We could tell people that piss us off to Fuck Off and Die.

Stephanie: Many, many times I've been told that it's a good thing that I'm good looking otherwise I'd have my ass kicked. Now I catch people saying the same thing about Hellspawn. Ah...grasshoppa...

Lalucas: I don't model because I dont think I've got the stuff for it. Part of being ultra-competitive is never being good enough for my own liking. What about the computer stuff would you like for me to expand on?
And you're witty, too. I'm still chuckling over #23 & #24.
ha! I love that you dream of being a rock star. It's such an excellent dream. It's one of mine, too.

:narrowing eyes: Competitive, eh? I see that if we played poker on OS, you would be one of the people to beat. hmmm.
You rock! I love #5--it reminds me of my son & myself & #18--you will always get into lots of trouble if you speak your truth in education.

My ex-husband was a trekkie and works for NASA. I love nerdy people with edge.

Thumbed (I thumb people all the time, but felt you should know.)
Hyblaen: We should start a club. I've already a good name. How about the "Fuck Off and Die Club for the Bright and Socially Awkward"? We could tell people that piss us off to Fuck Off and Die.

:D you will have to do a video blog and show me how to sign that
18. bravo
if I were you, I'd do the modeling - money is money, would you be competing with?
I love your tags

Modeling can be good money, but it's sporadic, and frankly the behind-the-scenes experience sucks.

I am so NOT competitive and love it that you are a geek. Hey, the last season of BSG is coming up soon....

#20 - I don't think women are exempt. I always tell people that I have a very long fuse, but it also that it leads to a very big bomb.
Can we just clone you so I can have a crush on you back AND marry you? Rated.
Just looking at your avatar photo- I'd say you'd make a pretty decent model! The man-magnet thing is not a bad thing if you can milk it for $$.
I had a Harley Sportster too when I was 19. A 1974 XLCH that I bought for the princely sum of $1450 back in 1990. Great bike- too bad it has a carburetor right smack dab where you thought your knee should go!
Saturn Smith, if you’re reading this, marry me please. We won’t tell my wife

Ha! Well sure, but I don't want you to have to edit #9.
#18. I have already begun to lose my hearing and will likely be deaf before it's all over (otoscelorosis runs very heavily in my family, Grandma and several of her sisters went deaf in their 30s and the surgeries did not work for any of them).

The thing is, although Grandma was entirely deaf the entire time she knew her grandchildren, I don't think any of us thought of her as disabled. We just had to slow down when we spoke, use exaggerated mouth movements (she read lips), and write things down when that failed. Oh, and she used a closed captioner for her TV. But she did basically everything a hearing person did--held a job, drove, volunteered like a fiend for the March of Dimes, raised a family, had friends, read tons of books and newspapers, and argued with pretty much everyone who dared disagree with her and some who agreed.

When you're a teacher, you gotta use whatever means you can to get the material across to the students. For a teacher of the deaf to refuse to use visual language is like a teacher of the blind refusing to speak.