I'm 'It' -- Five Random Facts
I took this photograph of the beautiful minarets of Herat during my trip to Afghanistan in November 2002.
I've been "tagged" by Fritz at cyclelicio.us, which means I have to share five random facts about myself. It's all in an effort to promote the wonderful world of blogging. I'm assuming the facts should, ideally, be interesting. Here goes:
1. I spent one month in Afghanistan in November 2002. It was one of the high points of my career as a journalist. I traveled to the capital, Kabul, and to Herat in the west of the country. I was excited at the prospect of such a trip, concerned about my personal safey, and nervous that I wouldn't do a good job. But I produced what I consider to be the best writing and reporting of my career. I also met some of the most generous and kindest people in the world. (One of them is Mustafa Sarwar. He was my translator at the time, but helped me in so many other ways. He's pictured with me in the photo below right.) It's a very beautiful country. I'd like to go back.
2. In my George Plimpton phase, I was a standup comic, a performer in a Renaissance festival, and an actor in a low-budget movie and wrote about each of my experiences for the newspaper I was working for at the time (the late Syracuse "Herald-Journal"). I also bungee jumped, rode in a hot-air balloon, went whitewater rafting, and drove 150 mph (240 kph) on the German autobahn. On the scale of terrifying experiences, I would rate reporting from war-torn Afghanistan third; bungee jumping second, and standup comedy first!
3. I have two tattoos -- a dolphin on my ankle, which I also had done for a newspaper story (when I was editing a newspaper magazine for teens), and an alchemical sun symbol on my left bicep, which I had done in an effort to pull me out of a personal funk, sort of a talisman in ink. It worked.
4. My first name is Edward. My middle name is Grant. When I was working for U.S. newspapers, I collected around 75 misspellings of my name, each of them unique. I cut them out from address labels and tacked them onto the bulletin board above my work station. They ranged from Greg Spidelko to Mr. Edward Grant.
5. My voice is in a voicebank at Barrandov film studios in Prague. I get the (very) occasional call to do voiceover work, most recently for a big-budget film called "Bathory" by the famous Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko. I play Guard #1. I had to affect a Central European accent, but speak in English, for my four or five lines. It was hard! I will be curious whether my voice makes the final cut.
Who can I pick to "tag"? How about:
-- Stewart in Prague
-- Cory & Dale in Hardwick, England
-- Brewsta in Prague
-- Carlo in Australia
-- Midnight Rider in Massachusetts.