Who loves Top 5 lists? aka... Asperger's brain dump...

I’ve been so busy lately that I can barely think so I’m gonna make this easy on myself and do some random lists like I used to do. I’m not sure if having Asperger’s makes me more prone to liking lists (which is the way I keep most information stored in my head) or I would’ve been a list-man anyway. Either way, let’s do some lists!

Top 5 times I feel the most “Bradley Wik”

This is a weird category but I was thinking about this the other day. Back when I had a day job, I would constantly feel like I wasn’t myself. For example, the aforementioned day job required me to trade shows where I and my colleagues would all have to dress alike. There we all were in khakis and matching polo shirts. Most of it was standing there yelling at people (since there were so many people talking, normal conversation-level voices would not be sufficient) but when I had to go piss, I’d catch a glance of myself in the mirror and hardly recognized who was staring back at me. Neat hair, polo shirt, khaki pants? Not Bradley Wik. It would crop up in other areas of my life as well, but that was always the most shocking. So here are the top 5 times I feel the most “me.”

1) When I’m performing on stage in front of people

I know what you’re thinking. Why multiple prepositions in that short of a sentence? Why do you have to specify in front of people? People are assumed when you say “on stage.” Not if you’ve played some of the shows I have. I still remember those shows in NYC at 2am when even the sound guy would step out for a smoke. Some of my favorite memories actually… Or, you’re thinking it seems strange that when I’m performing I feel most comfortable, but it’s true. It just feels like home and I’m at my most loose and confident. Even my wife notices a difference when I step up there. For some reason, I need people to watch me be me to be more “me.” I don’t know if that means that I’m a fraud in the rest of my life or what but this is weirdly the #1 answer…

2) When I’m having sex

This should go without saying (or maybe it’s different for others), but I’m the least self-conscious with my pants off. Probably because I have other things to occupy my thoughts (or lack thereof). It’s mindless work, which I love as I can finally shut my overdriven brain off for a moment of peaceful clarity.

3) When I’m watching a Packers or Brewers game

I guess those could be two separate ones but they’re essentially the same. But again, my brain shuts off (apart from trying to figure out the strategy behind the games, especially baseball. My wife is always amazed when I can guess when things will happen during a baseball game. I’ve called so many strikeouts, hits, home runs, etc. over the years. It’s one of the few ways I can still impress her…) so I can “just be” in peace.

4) When I’m pooping

Maybe it’s just me, but I find this to be some of my most relaxing time each day. I savor my poop time. There are no expectations to work or do anything productive other than evacuate my bowels. It’s delicious. Also, with #4 being the best and my favorite number in the whole world (thanks Favre!), I had to give my favorite answer here…

5) When I’m in New York City

Yep. Just whenever I’m there. This would be higher on the list if it happened more frequently. My years living there were the best and every day I wish I was still there. I love living in Charlotte and NYC is not the same as it once was, but being back there last year made me love it even more.

Top 5 Movies I Watch When I’m Sad

1) The Wrestler

Years ago, when we first met, my wife once asked me what character from a movie would I say I’m the most like. I chose Randy “the Ram” Robinson. I stand by that, for better or worse. Probably says more about how messed up my priorities are but I thought the ending was actually happy. He got to go out on his own terms, doing the thing he loved and while being loved. That doesn’t sound sad to me…

2) Get Him to the Greek

I used to watch this movie so much that I could do a good Aldous Snow impression and once convinced (a very drunk, mind you) group of people I was actually British. Then, when I told them I was fucking with them, I almost got beat up. One of them stood up and shoved me. One of them actually took a swing at me, spilling her drink all over herself before storming off. Man, some people can’t take a joke. Good times…

3) The Wedding Singer

This is pure comfort food for me. I actually like the fake song he writes when he’s super depressed. And Adam and Drew are so good on screen together. Plus, Billy Idol cameo? Yes, please.

4) Bridesmaids

Upon first viewing, I didn’t like this movie very much. The advertising really did it a disservice. It’s not a quirky, silly comedy. It’s a full-blown drama with some hilarious scenes (emergency pooping is always funny). Wiig is so amazing in this and everything is better with a little Maya Rudolph. I think I connect with Wiig’s character in a way that maybe is only matched by a few other characters (see above) and I like that. It’s not easy for an Asperger’s to “feel” with other people and she somehow brings that out of me.

5) American Movie

No matter how sad/depressed I am, this movie can always pull me out. Maybe it’s the Wisconsinite in me, but Mark’s unending determination to achieve his goal is magical. I feel a kinship to that. I know his struggles. Maybe too well. But, like Mark, I too have something magical to give the world, whether or not they want it/are ready for it. He did it, so can I.

Honorable mentions: Grandma’s Boy (Linda Cardellini singing Salt-N-Pepa? Yes, please. I’ll take two.), Walk the Line and the Bob Dylan “documentary” “Don’t Look Back”

Top 5 Phil Collins/Genesis Albums

My wife says these are the same thing, and since she's always right, I’m lumping them together. I also didn’t realize how much I’ve spent on Collins/Genesis vinyl over the years…

1) No Jacket Required

This not only has my favorite Collins’ tune (“Sussudio”) but also my favorite song of his (“Take Me Home”). Wait, two favorites? Yep. That’s why it’s #1.

2) Invisible Touch

I probably sing along (or try to, Phil has a slightly better range than I…) to this album as much as any other record I own. Truly a triumph of music making and Genesis at the peak of their pop powers.

3) Abacab

I know you might be thinking: Abacab? Seriously? #3? But, I know that every time I put this on the turntable, I get the unending joy of hearing “Who Dunnit?” one more time in my life. It’s one of my great joys. I still don’t know who or how many drugs convinced Phil to allow this onto an album (assuming it’s the keyboard player’s song. Sounds like a keyboard man’s contribution…) but I’m grateful for each listen. If you’ve never heard this song, HERE IT IS. You’re welcome. Try getting that shit out of your head, ever.

4) Face Value

Would be higher if it wasn’t so sad. It’s a fantastic journey and experience to go on when I’m in the mood. I’m just less inclined on a daily basis to spin this album.

5) We Can’t Dance

I still almost tear up when I thread this up and “No Son of Mine” comes through the speakers. And then I also have to DO THE DANCE whenever “I Can’t Dance” comes on. Love it.

So, there you go. Lists. How awesome are they? Yes.

(dictated but not read)

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