1. I married the first girl I kissed. (Note to others: really bad idea.)
2. I had to abandon my first dissertation topic after spending three years researching it because it was turning into a life's work instead of an academic hoop. I still have all the index cards -- hundreds of them. I look at them whenever I want my blood pressure to rise.
3. I spent the summer after my eighth grade year watching 8mm tapes of Charlie Chaplin in order to figure out how comedy worked. I have relied on the knowledge ever since.
4. One summer, I had every guy in my neighborhood playing chess and writing down the moves on paper. Seriously.
5. People scare me.
6. Ever since my mother died, I cry anytime someone in a movie says good-bye.
7. My college roommate, who is also from my hometown of Racine Wisconsin, is Michael Phillips, the Chicago Trib film critic.
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