Bonjour!  Qui est Rusty Moss?  Really.  Some of you follow my blog.  Some of you follow my Facebook and Twitter.  But who really knows me?  Some of you do.  Most of you don’t.  Let’s dive in.  I encourage you all to reply.  That’s right.  On this blog, or on Facebook.  And tell me who you are…who you really are.  Here are 10 things about me that you may or may not have known.

I WANT TO SEE EVERY CONTINENT

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That’s right.  But who doesn’t right?  I am so close.  I’ve been to six.  Born in North America, Je suis tejano–ok not really.  It took me 24 years to get to my second continent, South America.  I went three times for a combined 5 months, and it was on my third visit that I saw my third–Antarctica.  Beautiful..peaceful..tranquil…amazing.  My fourth was an impromptu visit to Sydney.  I was in Hawaii for the birth of my nephew and to visit my amazing sister who I miss so much (I miss our tennis games, Jenn).  Why not?  I’m half way there (well almost).  Sydney is the best city I’ve ever seen–hands down.  It took me 35 years and getting married to get to Europe.  That’s right, I am married!  To the best wife ever!  She got me to Europe.  Amsterdam and Budapest.  Two beautiful and very different cities.  Christmas markets are the best.  Part two of our honeymoon got me number six.  Asia!  Southeast Asia to be exact.  I want to go back…but to Vietnam…and to the beach.  We didn’t go to the beach.  Well, Bali..but who counts that!?!  Just kidding.  Africa is waiting!

I HAVE EATEN MORE VARIETY OF MEATS THAN MOST

I was thinking about this a few days ago, and now I will try to make a list!  The usuals:  cow, chicken, pig, and fish.  We will lump fish as fish, instead of listing every single one.  The seafoods:  fish (already listed), shrimp, lobster, crab, clams, crawfish.  The air:  pheasant, dove, quail.  And now for the unusuals.  Some of these are more common than others, but you won’t find them on the menu at Chili’s.  I never even eat at Chili’s.  Squid, octopus, crocodile, alligator, elk, moose, deer, duck, squirrel, rabbit, goat, lamb, frog, kangaroo.  I may have left some out, but oh my!  I passed on snakes, scorpions, and spiders in Cambodia.  But I am definitely adding snails next month in Paris, and mussels in Brussels.  Je mange escargot!  My dad surely has me topped, probably just with a list of small birds–ugh–I’m out!

ZOOS MAKE ME SAD, AND I OWN A TIGER

I love wild animals.  I support the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with a small donation each month.  I used to give more.  I should bump that up again.  When I first joined, I adopted a tiger.  Supposedly my money is helping the tigers and their habitat.  Seeing animals locked in the zoo, behind bars, make me sad.  They should be in the wild.  I realize that some zoos are trying to save a population of a species, but surely there is a better way.  For a a while I wanted to work for the WWF, doing something…anything!  So, if you are reading, let me know!  I love what you guys do and hopefully we can all make a difference.

IN HOLDEM POKER, I HAVE BEEN ON BOTH ENDS OF THE WORST BEAT YOU CAN TAKE

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989 to 1.  Thats the odds of getting perfect-perfect after the flop.  This means you have to catch exactly 2 cards, and those are the only cards that will let you win the hand.  The first was when I flopped Four Tens in holdem.  I was playing online $3/$6 limit.  I lost to a straight flush.  My opponent needed to hit the Queen of Spades AND the Jack of Spades.  I lost about $60 on the hand.  The other:  Aria $2/$5 No Limit Holdem.  I had 8♣9♣ and played it against a $30 raise preflop.  The flop came 8♠ 9♠ 3♥.  I got it all in three ways.  I was up against J♠ T♠ and 9 9♥.  I could only win if the turn and river were the last two remaining Eights.  I didn’t know this until the river when all the cards was exposed.  I showed Quad Eights for a $5,000 pot.  Some random player with patches on his hoodie stopped the game to snap a pic for his Instagram.  That was a lucky one!

I WAKE UP AT NIGHT AND HAVE A SPOONFUL (OR THREE) OF PEANUT BUTTER

Only Jif!  It’s the best.  There are no other peanut butters that exist in my world.  I want to start selling peanut butter–I have an idea on an improvement, but am scared to share!  Maybe Jif will want to buy my idea??  Or at least talk to me.  Let me know, Jif!

I WANT (AND AM TRYING) TO BE TRI-LINGUAL

This is a recent goal.  English, Spanish, French.  My wife and I study French for about 40 minutes a day, every day.  We are getting there, slowly but surely.  I became nearly fluent in Spanish during my jaunts to South America (and 5 years of studying the language).  After we get our French down, I am going to study Spanish again–and regain what I’ve lost.

I CAN’T IMAGINE A BETTER WIFE

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Really.  I’m not just saying that because she reads this.  I just can’t.  There’s nothing I would change.  She’s beautiful and loves me.  She is nice to all my friends and my family, and her family likes me too.  She likes doing things with me or just staying home.  She’s smarter than I, and always supports me.  She shares my love for travel and bakes the yummiest cookies!  Thanks babe for being so great.  Je t’aime, ma femme.  You’re my favorite everything.

MESSY SHOELACES AND ILL-FITTING JEANS DRIVE ME NUTS

Not much to elaborate here.  I have to make sure my pants cover where my laces are tied–even with sneakers.  I just think it looks sloppy–I hate looking sloppy.  And please people, pull your pants up!  When did low-rise, below the waist fitting, jeans become a thing?  Whoever made this needs to go away!  I am “long-waisted” as my wife says which makes it incredibly hard to find jeans.  Gah!  It may be sexy for girls, but come on, Calvin Klein, Levis, Buffalo, and whoever else…can you make some jeans for guys that fit on or slightly above the waist??  Sigh.

LOSING A NO-HITTER WITH ONE OUT TO GO IS HEARTBREAKING

I’ve done this once.  And lost a perfect a game with two outs to go once.  Baseball was fun, super fun.  I played from when I was 6 years old to 19 years old.  I even forged a fake birth certificate to make myself a year younger so I could play an extra year.  Surely the statute of limitations on that is over by now!  My dad coached me.  Hours and hours spent in the yard, taking grounders, hitting balls, pitching.  I love you dad.  I probably haven’t told you enough how much all those hours meant to me.  I think of them often, and think of you too.  Thanks for all the time you spent with me.  I’ll never forget.

MY MOM IS MY HERO

I am like my mom in many ways.  A bit stubborn and can hold quite a grudge, and a memory like and elephant.  My mom has always been the one to take care of me when I’m sick, feed me when I’m hungry, and build a fire when I’m the only one that’s cold.Mom and Dad.jpg  The best was when the power was out during an ice-storm.  We pulled all the furniture inward to the fireplace, and build a fire–for a week!  She made sure we had a pot of stew cooking in the fireplace.  It felt like the 1800s…or what I imagine those times to be.  All the Scrabble matches, the tears, the smiles, and everything in between.  I was able to send her to Switzerland to fly high in the Alps on a hang-glider–something that she has talked about wanting to do for 20 years.  It was my way of saying, “Thank you.”  Although that could never equate to all the things you’ve done for me, thank you, Mom.  Thank you for always loving me no matter what.  If I could be like one person, I want to be like you.

There ya go.  That’s me.  There’s a lot more.  So what about you?  Who are you?  Who reads my blog?  I want to know.  I really do!