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Tag, I’m it… eight things about me…

My friend and fellow blogger and podcaster Donna Papacosta has tagged me to reveal eight things about myself that you may not know. I never say no to Donna, so here goes:

  1. I have an identical twin brother, Tim, who is eight minutes older than I. In the hustle and bustle of Toronto, where Tim also lives and works, we’re both daily approached by people who have confused one of us for the other. (You get used to it after so many years.) We’re still very close and play and coach hockey together.
  2. Despite my 20 years of public affairs/public relations consulting, I actually hold a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Though I’ve never practiced engineering, I use the methodological approach to problem-solving every day in my work with colleagues and clients.
  3. When I was 15, a friend and I designed and built a full-sized hovercraft. This experience helped push me towards engineering in university.terrys-hovercraft-cropped.jpg
  4. I’m an avid hockey fan (Go Leafs Go!) and still play and coach.
  5. In my university days, I played guitar in a rock ‘n roll band. The only point worth noting is that our lead singer, Andy Maize went on to co-found the still popular Canadian band “The Skydiggers.” I still play guitar and write songs and occasionally perform with my twin brother (piano) and now my older son Calder (bass).
  6. After graduating from McMaster University, where I was bitten by the political bug, I joined the full-time staff of the 1984 Jean Chretien Leadership Campaign (we lost) and then spent the next four years working on Parliament Hill (federal politics for any non-Canadian readers) and Queen’s Park (Ontario politics) as a political staffer for Liberal cabinet ministers.
  7. I’ve been an avid (at times obsessive) chess player for nearly 20 years and still play online as often as time permits.
  8. I published my first novel, The Best Laid Plans this past September combining various experiences and passions including politics, engineering, hovercrafts, and chess. I podcasted the entire novel chapter by chapter in 2007 and it’s available on this blog or through iTunes. You can read more about the novel on this blog.

There you have it. Eight things some of you may not have known about me.

3 responses to “Tag, I’m it… eight things about me…”

  1. Ah, very interesting. Having read the Best Laid Plans, I see how you’ve tied together your various life experiences and passions in the story: government, PR, chess, engineering, hovercrafts.

    Thanks for being a good sport about being tagged. 😉

  2. Tara Benwell says:

    You have connections to Skydiggers and Blue Rodeo? That’s amazing. These two bands are in my top 5 of all time. I loved hearing your story about getting up the nerve to ask Jim Cuddy to blurb your book. I often tell my common law partner (we have two kids together but I’m not a fan of weddings) that the only way I would ever marry him is if Jim Cuddy would sing at our campfire wedding. A girl can dream…

  3. Terry Fallis says:

    Believe it or not, Andy Maize (Skydiggers) was the singer in our band at university. I like to think we gave him his start in music. I had lunch with him a few months ago after he represented The Best Laid Plans in the National Post’s Canada Also Reads competition.

    Jim Cuddy is a friend who plays on my ball hockey team. He was kind enough to read the manuscript of The High Road and provide a very nice “blurb” for the back cover and inside the front cover.

    Great guys who make great music.

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