Ultimate Transparency: 24 Things I Have Never Told You (or, how I no longer plan to write anything I don’t want to)

by RJ

in Random

As I do every morning, I sat in front of a blank word document. My plan was to write a post titled, “10 Cheap Christmas Gifts That Don’t Make you seem Like a Tightwad.”

My intentions were good. The post was timely, so it could have helped a few people out. However, something just didn’t feel right.

That’s when one of those thoughts that you know is true but didn’t want to admit to yourself that it was true, hit me. The post that I was writing, the one about the cheap Christmas gifts with a catchy title, you couldn’t pay me to read it. It was boring. It was dry. There were 92,435 articles just like it already on the web.

More importantly, I didn’t start a blog to write crap like that. So today, I’m going to change things and get out of my comfort zone. Here are 24 things I have never told you.


# 1 – My dream job involves helping ambitious people succeed. That’s what I love to do. Financial planning is the underlying framework of how I go about that.

# 2- I’m a part owner in a golf course. I personally own 1% of a local golf course. The shares were handed down to me.

# 3 – I think I finally get this blogging thing. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I do. But I know I’m going to have fun from now on.

# 4 – You can count the number of girlfriends I had on one finger. My wife and I were high school sweet hearts.

# 5 – I rarely read fiction. For the past year, everything I have read has been non-fiction. I think the problem is the last fiction I read was the Harry Potter. After a few false starts, nothing else has compared.

# 6 – The song that plays at every family wedding of mine, is “Stroke It” by Clarence Carter. Not really sure how this was started. It’s really fun though.

# 7 – My favorite movie is Big Lebowski.

# 8 – I love beer. Anchor Steam is my favorite. Very few places have it, so my other go to is Amstel. Sam Adams is great too.

# 9 – I practice yoga. Around 17, I started to have terrible back pain. It was on and off, until I started practicing yoga. The first day I did Yoga, was the last day my back hurt.

# 10 – I had a very privileged upbringing. My dad worked hard and built an insurance agency, up to one of the 25 largest in Illinois. As far as I knew, money was never much of a problem when I was a kid.

# 11- I’m Christian.

# 12 – My wife can beat me in ping pong and swimming. I’m extremely competitive, so this is harder to admit than you may believe.

# 13 – When I proposed to my wife, I was so nervous that she thought I was sick.

# 14 – I’m a control freak. If you touch my thermostat, I will find you.

# 15 – At college graduation, when they announced two people in a row that were Cum Laude, I thought they were twins. So did my friend next to me, so I didn’t feel so stupid.

# 16 – I love to cook. My mom taught me to love food.

# 17 – I cry when I watch Rudy. The part that really gets me is when Rudy goes back to his dad’s plant and tells him he got into Notre Dame.

# 18 – I set the record for most Bob Segar songs played at one wedding. Our first dance was to, “You’ll Accompany Me. We also sang along to “Night Moves” and slow danced to “We’ve Got Tonight.”

# 19 – I don’t follow politics, so I rarely vote. I vote for only people who I know and trust, which is unfortunately rare. My theory for there being so many horrible politicians today is that most people, who vote, don’t have any clue who they are voting for and why. My pet peeve is when people vote straight down a ballot for one party or another.

# 20 – I have trouble showing gratitude. My family has given me so much. I wish I could thank them in a meaningful way but don’t know how.

# 21- I played in a professional golf tournament when I was 15. I was pretty good at golf when I was young. I was my best around the age of 16. Then I stopped practicing so much because I found it a lot more interesting to hang out with my girlfriend, who now is my wife. I still play about once a week now.

# 22 – My mom, sister, and wife have bought 90% of my wardrobe. The other 10% is Kirkland Signature Brand. Shopping for clothes is boring to me.

# 23 – A TV fell on my head when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a flat panel. I was rushed to the hospital. I’m glad I don’t remember this.

# 24 – That was fun to write. I hope you got a lot more out of that, than some post about saving a few bucks for Christmas.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Briana FordNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I don’t read much fiction either. I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction books lately. Harry Potter was also my last fictional read. It’s just better (to me) to read non-fiction. Who cares about someone who doesn’t exist?


PatrickNo Gravatar December 15, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Well this definitely made me chuckle a little while I was reading it, and since I made it all the way to the end I guess that registers as a success.

I have decided to give out cards offering one hour of my time at the time and place of the their choosing were I will sit and listen to them and engage in conversation with no electronic interference. That means a room with no t.v. no cell phones, computers, iPads, etc…

I value my time at more than $25 so I consider this a much better gift than some cheap trinket that no doubt will get pushed in a closet and forgot about.


Nancy WeissNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 8:15 am

mmmm ….didn’t know you were a control freak about you thermostate. The others were no surprise.


RJNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

Haha. Thanks mom for sharing.

For the record, it wasn’t my mom’s fault the TV fell on my head.


JohnG Home LoansNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

NICE! MUCH better than writing about christmas gifts. Only moms read that stuff anyway!


Dana @ Budget DietitianNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Thanks RJ! This was fun to read. I am a baby blogger and love that you didn’t write an article that you didn’t like. I think that I will do the same.


Sandy @ yesiamcheap.comNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I think that all men can tell when the thermostat move even one degree. They come running. Even the next door neighbor comes running over asking if someone changed the temperature.


RJNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm

@Dana – Thanks Dana. My wife is also actually an RD, looking to start her own blog.

Good luck with your article.


Ash @ PayForSchoolNo Gravatar December 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I loved this post! Its true when you’re a blogger/writer you always feel you need to write about the trending topics or what people want but it can be draining. I’m glad you decided to stop that drain game!

Thanks again for a great post RJ!


Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar December 18, 2010 at 8:21 am

#22, WOW! :)


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