Have you taken a gander at this newfangled contraption called Facebook? Sweet saints and soldiers, this thing has magical powers! It can make you sit in a chair for days – forsaking all eating and bathing practices – while you frenetically attempt to locate and become Facebook Buddies with that punk kid who had the indigestional issues (read: stinky farts) that sat by you in Mrs. Colunga’s third grade class. And then, even though you have only been registered on Facebook for the sum total of 18 minutes, you are disgusted with this kid for not being on it. “Oh, well,” you say, “I guess I’ll never know what happened to … gosh, I wish I could remember the name of that odiferous kid.”
Drunk on the ability to reach into my past and find people I love deeply but haven’t spoken to since we ate Play-Dough together circa 1975, I have now made contact with many good folks who don’t really even know the Ken Craig of 2009. Or even the Ken Craig of 1999. Or even the Ken Craig of 1989. (If you know the Ken Craig of 1979, perhaps you can help me remember the name of that kid with the overpowering funk?)
I thought maybe I’d bring you up to speed.
This is me, now.
Okay, not really. This is me now. (I’m the one on the left. The cute one is Katie.)
And here are some things you have probably wondered about. (Some of these points have links to lengthier descriptions or commentaries.)
- I stopped going by “Kenny” in 7th grade. My family struggled to let this go, and I was “Kenny” at home until about 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. No, actually until about 11th grade.
- I thought for sure Darth Vader was bold-faced lying when he said he was Luke’s father.
- The first album I owned was Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The first cassette tape I owned was Journey’s Escape. The first CD I owned was U2’s Unforgettable Fire. My first iTunes download was The Flaming Lips’ The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.
- Aside from a short stint in college, I stopped chasing girls around the school grounds after about fourth grade.
- Still terrified of sharks. Probably related to many viewing of Jaws in my youth.
- When I started wearing deodorant I first tried the Right Guard spray, but the chill of the spray always made me scream like a girl/Homer Simpson, so I went to stick. Speed Stick, if enquiring minds want to know.
- I played in the band in junior high. I asked Mr. Leff if I could play the drums and was told there were too many drummers. I asked to play the saxophone and was told there were too many sax players. I surrendered to the clarinet (surprise! not too many clarinetists!), and have resented Mr. Leff ever since. I plan to smuggle a clarinet into the next life and beat Mr. Leff with it.
- Although endorsed by Ricky Schroeder (of TV’s Silver Spoons), I always felt a little funny wearing parachute pants. (Oh, but I wore them, sister!)
- I was not as embarrassed about stone-washed jeans, but now I am.
- My first kiss was during Youth Conference. On a bus. In front of many people.
- Despite his two Academy Awards, I am of the opinion that Tom Hanks’ best work comes from the movie Dragnet. Not his performance in the actual movie, but his appearance in the City of Crime video, wherein he and a thickening Dan Ackroyd dance and sing. Hilarium!
- I played soccer until I was 14. I did not care for the knee-high socks.
- I played water polo in high school. I suddenly missed the knee-high socks.
- My first car was a red 1976 Honda Civic. (It was 1987.)
- I owned several red Vuarnet shirts, but never actually any Vuarnet sunglasses.
- I am still a little confused as to why MC Hammer fell out of favor with the American public so quickly. And a little bit, I feel bad for him.
- I didn’t really have to start shaving regularly until I was 18.
- I moved to Hawaii my senior year of high school. Molokai, Hawaii.
- By the time I was 22 I had gone skydiving, parasailing, and bungee jumping.
- I went on an LDS mission to Portugal, and spent six months in the Azore Islands.
- I spent my college years at BYU, where I majored in Advertising, interned at NBC in Burbank, and lived in the (now defunct) Deseret Towers, Park Plaza, Foxwood, and basement apartment of my wife’s grandfather.
- I was a founding member of BYU’s first comedy improv troupe, The Garrens. I met some of my favorite people from this experience, including my most favorite – Katie. It was part sketch comedy, part improv. Sometimes I still very much miss it.
- I met Katie Fillmore in September 1993. I found her adorable in that same moment. I fell in love with her September 1994. We got married August 1995. Here is our engagement story/video. (Please take note of our fabulous 1995 “Reality Bites” wardrobe and hairstyles.)
- We have six children. Abbie, Garren, Connor, Roxanna, Tanner, and Becca. They are so delectable, you will want to dip them in chocolate fondue and eat them. But don’t! You will be in so much trouble with Katie.
- I thoroughly enjoy (the first ten seasons of) The Simpsons, Seinfeld, and The Office.
- I own a Mac.
- I have worked in advertising, public relations, sales, and commercial insurance. Do you have any other suggestions?
- I am currently serving as the bishop in my LDS ward.
- I love hearing from old friends.
- If I were being executed (for a crime I didn’t commit), my final meal would be a Tommy’s chili burger, a rib eye steak (medium well), baked potato with sour cream and butter, Mom’s homemade bread, finger-Jell-O (because there’s always room for Jell-O), Trader Joe’s gnocchi, chocolate chip pancakes, and Hagan Daaz’s Vanilla Swiss Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Also, it would be “execution by over-eating.”
There. Now it’s like no time has passed.