One of the saddest things I can imagine is being the last of your species. This poor thylacine would never see a relative again, never play around with its pack, wrestle over a piece of food, never mate, never have company again. Just one of a million stories like that throughout the millennia, but having this footage makes it almost unbearably poignant. Not trying to lecture or anything like that. By now I'm sure we're all aware of the consequences of human behavior. Sometimes I just think about this stuff is all.
I joined Twitter in 2009 but didn't post much before going back to Facebook. But soon I was finding that a lot of friends I like were choosing Twitter instead of Facebook so I had to do both if I wanted to interact with a lot of my indie comics pals. I returned in early 2010 and I've since begun to enjoy Twitter a lot more and Facebook a lot less, so I guess they are now about equal on my list of Social Networking Sites That Help Me Waste Time When I Could Be Doing Something Productive.
My best friend is on Facebook but refuses to join Twitter because it would interfere with him making macaroni portraits of Dr. Who's Matt Smith. So I've decided to share some of my first 1,000 tweets here so he won't have to miss my awful puns and stupid ideas for TV shows. I'm up to 1,280 tweets and not sure when my 1,000th actually was, so I'll just include everything up until September 1, 2012. Hooray for arbitrary!
I'd like to have sex with Sarah McLachlan but I'm afraid she might sing before, during, or afterward.
Tired of an 80s song? Try the original 12" single version. The "Blaster Mix" of "Dancing In the Dark" just punched my ears in the face.
Shandy Threadbare, professional drinker • Sir Biggles Crustworth Frontbottom IV, 3rd Duke of Lard-on-Taint • #BritishComicNovelCharacters
Hefting the victual • Vexing the innards • Evoking the bygone saint • Cataloging the chaff • Caroling without a coat • #VomitEuphemisms
"Oh no, my grandma's severed penis!" #6WordStories
All my heroes are older British women. When I'm retired, I want the acerbic wit of Maggie Smith & the smoldering intensity of Helen Mirren.
Mesg left at the animal shelter: "Your ad says you have rabbits to adopt? You can give me all 6 to eat.I'll harvest them & put them in my freezer."
The local clergy seems upset about my pizzeria, Cheezus Crust.
Specials: the "Pontius Pie-late" 9.99 2-topping, and the Jack Chick-en Parm sandwich. Our slogan: "GodDAMN that's good pizza"
Creamsicle cell anemia
"Gurrrl, it looks like those jeans were sewn together in a factory, then you bought them and wore them tonight.Yowza!" #PickupLines
Ceci n'est pas un tweet.
Dear shelter visitors who insist on declawing their cats: Do you tear your dog's teeth out when it chews sneakers? Just curious.
If the republicans hadn't cut health care and medical research, Ronald Reagan's unfrozen head could've been crowned Supreme Regent by now.
When you ask someone where they got the cat they're surrendering & they say "I got Lucky in a supermarket parking lot," You have to laugh.
There are two generally accepted uses for the word "engorged": ticks and dicks.
Wish there was a law against using the word "bagel" to sell bagel-shaped bread. If you don't boil it before baking, YOU'RE A LIAR AND A CAD.
Now that I'm being followed by a Formula1 event management co. I'll be tossing in the occasional subtle references for them. #BurningRubber
I need to buy some toothpaste today. Also did you see HansLars Von Frederik's 38th lap at Challe St.Victrice yesterday? Gorgeous. #engines
She climbs on top of me in bed, gets a rubdown & leaves. Nobody prostitutes me like my cat does. #JustLeaveTheDeadMouseOnTheNightstand
"If'n you saunter into this saloon, pard'ner, you best be able to recite pi to the twenty-third digit." *spits*
The Empire Strikes Back To the Future starring Harrison J. Ford as Marty McFlywalker
Paper Jam: a bunch of nerds in business suits doing Pearl Jam covers that sound like Devo.
I heard in the new Batman movie he finally gets crowned The Dark King.
Frankly, Bash, I don't want to bash you and Franklin, but you bashed Al Franken at his frankfurter bash. #FranklinandBash
Madagascar 4: MadaNascar. A bunch of zoo animals escape & get run over on a racetrack. Majority of film is a grim courtroom battle.
I might be able to summon a last, small shred of respect for George Lucas if he calls himself Lucasfilm's "3-CEO". If not, he's dead to me.
Just so we're clear, "from the producer who brought you" & "from the studio that brought you" mean precisely Jack Shit.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know you don't exist.
Chupacadabra: washed-up magician (Dane Cook) accidentally pulls chupacabra from his hat in a Tijuana performance. Comic mayhem ensues. PG-13
Ibitterod: single mom Elise (Amy Adams) trains for Iditerod, discovers main rival is her ex-husband Trank (Vince Vaughn). Romance ensues. PG
New reality show, "Minneapolis Mini Apple Police": group of hardened little people guards Minnesota orchard. Some have quirky personalities.
New reality show, "Albuquerque Alba Turkeys": The daily shenanigans at Jessica Alba's New Mexico turkey farm. Some turkeys have funny names.
They use the Large Dodecahedron Collider to hurl nerds together at nearly the speed of light to see if they can get them to have sex.
It took so long to drink this shitty tequila, there's a moth at the bottom.
Recently got some old issues of Highlights For Children at an auction, so here are a few, well, highlights.
Wow, how cool is it that they used to try and teach kids good manners? I wish a magazine had told me to respect my elders when I was a lad, but in the 1980s it was all BMX bikes and robots. And here I am now, reaping what I sowed. Get off my lawn, you punks!
I shot and edited this dumb mini-doc about how I made my friend Stefan eat a bunch of food:
There are four types of travel books;
The first type is the Comic Road Trip, a joyous romp through a foreign country, ideally with an observant author who pokes fun at everything they see. Bill Bryson is a great example of this; He not only manages to paint you a portrait of the indigenous population, he somehow makes you laugh until tears stream down your face.
The second type is the Emotional Journey of Discovery. This may be the tale of how an author’s life changed when she rode bareback on a Shetland pony through New Zealand, or it may be a book so culturally aware and so well-written it makes you periodically stop and say, “Oh, so that’s why the Inuit are so ebullient.” This type of book generally involves the author: A) doing lots and lots of research (“From the north face of the Eiffel Tower to London Bridge it is approximately 391,000 footsteps, or the equivalent of 1,500 laps around a regulation Olympic track.”), or B) living in the foreign country for many, many years. If you’re looking for a top flight example of this genre written about Japan, I strongly urge you to seek out Alan Booth’s masterful book “Roads To Sata.” His passing was a great loss to travel writing enthusiasts and to literature itself.
The third type of travel book is the Anthropological/Wildlife Field Study. Some of these are cleverly disguised as scientific books instead of travelogues, but the end result is more or less the same. Look for passages like, “I approached the head of the village to procure passage to the lair of the albino sloth. The chief had a large, broad forehead, making it quite clear at a glance that his lineage extended to the Yutuptup tribe 350 kilometers to the south.”
The fourth type is Other. Yes, I am lumping everything else here. Meet me in the parking lot if you need to take issue with it. These books can be anything from a recipe book masquerading as a travelogue about someone’s month in Naples, to a coffee table photo-essay on Beirut. My book falls into this last category. I may share a certain “breeziness” of attitude with the first group, but I didn’t really take one trip through Japan, I sort of blundered about here and there for awhile, somehow holding down a job at the same time. I can’t lay claim to the second category either, because despite my intense interest in Japan, I’m no expert on the country and my language ability was at a pre-school level. I can make all the pithy comments I want about Nobunaga’s ambition, but I’ve got precious little to back it up.
This book deals with things I did in Japan, places I saw, and people I met. It’s messy, vulgar, obscure, and I’d call the whole thing fiction if I hadn’t actually lived it. This won’t be the book that finally explains the Japanese mind to a Western audience, but then again, at least there aren’t any recipes.
Chapter One: The Setup
“The most recent in a long string of books by Westerners on ‘My Year in Japan’ or ‘My Trip Through Japan’ or ‘What I Have To Say About Japan That Is More Profound Than Anything Ever Said By Any Other JET Teacher’…”
- Carl Malmstrom, from a review of Will Ferguson’s entertaining ‘Hokkaido Highway Blues’
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. My English professor in college told us that at least twice a class. Well, no disrespect to the American education system, but that’s a load of simplistic horseshit. It sounds awfully nice, and it’s downright profound when you’re dealing with a room full of horny 20-somethings writing short stories with titles like ‘Chris Baddas and the Awesome Snowboard Trip.” However, when you sit down and actually try to write anything of length or (dare I say it) substance, you find that every beginning has its own beginning, middle, and end. So you go back and look for that miscellany, only to discover that you’re missing a beginning to this new beginning; a back-story, if you will.
Perhaps the reason my professor never bothered to mention any of these complications is because you’re better off just writing and not thinking about things too much. Unfortunately, I’m much too analytical for my own good, and this is non-fiction to boot. Therefore, I can’t simply leap to Kansai Airport in Osaka as my plane smacked the tarmac for the first time. I have to take you by the reins, gentle reader, as a cowpoke leads the rangy palomino to yon stream to quench its mighty thirst. I must lead you back, into the mists of time, to explain how I ended up going there in the first place.
I’ve been interested in foreign places ever since I was a kid. We didn’t get out of New Jersey much, but for some reason I recall having a travel agency catalog of package tours on my bookshelf alongside Dr. Seuss. How it got there I have no idea, but the seeds of wanderlust were sown all the same. I devoured books about people escaping the confines of their life, and I eagerly awaited each trip to the library. Excursions to other continents, voyages into outer space, or even Daniel Pinkwater’s classic ‘The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death’, it didn’t matter to me. Sure that last one was about a couple kids escaping their beds at night to watch midnight movies downtown, but wasn’t that better than sleeping?
I’m not quite sure how the interest in Japan developed, but I think it had something to do with seeing anime for the first time. For those of you who actually have lives, “anime” is basically the Japanese equivalent of the word “cartoon”. A dedicated TV addict from infancy, I was fascinated when I chanced upon “Star Blazers” (AKA Space Battleship Yamato) or “Battle Of the Planets” (AKA Gatchaman) while flipping about the dial. It was unlike the simplistic American pap I was used to watching after school. A few years later, still in grade school, a prescient fellow named Carl Macek correctly postulated that America didn’t have enough of this “anime” stuff. He gave us the mighty “Robotech”.
Sure, Robotech is essentially an awkwardly dubbed space opera. Sure, it’s edited together from no less than three separate Japanese cartoon series. Nothing on American TV was telling a story like that, with characters that acted in a manner approaching realistic, with giant robots and epic space battles. Although it’s not without its flaws, I loved it like a parent loves their slightly awkward child. My life and fifth grade conversation revolved around it. My interest in Japanese (pop) culture had begun. Sadly, my school status as a “geek” was sealed as well, but who needs a girlfriend when you have 200 episodes of melodrama, right?
As I grew to manhood, I took even more interest in other cultures. I envied my grandmother’s trips to Europe, and dreamed of someday going there myself. I read more books about travel, watched more TV documentaries about steamy locales, and played a lot of video games. Once we moved to New Hampshire, I even went to Canada with my parents, where we basically went to the zoo and played mini golf. At least the guys on the next tee were yelling “Birdiiiieeee!” in French. Don’t get me wrong, it was an exciting trip, but I hadn’t even begun to sate my appetite for foreign travel. I swore to myself that college would be different.
And so it was. For one thing, I finally figured out what the big deal about girls was. For another, I got to meet some more people of other nationalities and I interrogated them at length about life in their countries. It was hard to imagine a city with buildings older than 1800, but I did my best, and I even tried applying to Temple University in Tokyo to study abroad for a semester. As it turns out, this would have required auctioning off both of my kidneys to pay the tuition, so I nixed the idea. My feverish brain labored over the issue, tormenting me with its cries. “Help me!” it shrieked. “Show me a menu that doesn’t have French fries on it! Show me new and different hand gestures to offend people! Show me cars that fit fewer than 8 people and a government even more corrupt than our own!” Still, my best efforts went for naught. It was at this crossroads that I sat down in Sociology class and met J.
J stuck out like a sore thumb, and it was great. If somebody had a stupid opinion, he’d gladly giftwrap it, stamp it, address it, and cram it right back in their ugly craw. If our bland, tenured professor got lazy and left an opening for an argument, J was there to waste ten minutes of class time on the semantics of a statement. He was the first to say we should leave when the prof was 3 minutes late, and his shock of reddish hair stuck up like an angry Irish beacon, calling the rest of the students to rally around his indignation. I would never share a class with him again during my time at Keene Sate College, but our paths would cross in other ways.
J was a black belt in his form of martial arts, a style he learned from a Japanese gentleman in New York. J suffered from severe respiratory ills, alleviated only by keeping in shape. He had tattoos of Japanese kanji on his palm, chest and arm , denoting the times he flew to Japan to participate in his clan’s competitions, full contact events that most Westerners never see. At Keene State, he started a martial arts club on campus and since I was a film major I had the opportunity to work with him on the distinguished classic, “James Blond: For Your Thighs Only.” His group came in to do some stunt work, and I believe it was at this point that I met his friend N.
N was Korean by birth, raised by a small-town, New Hampshire family to be a football fanatic, and she was about as sarcastic as it’s possible to be without actually dripping venom. Add to that her ludicrously long black hair and passion for ceramics, and you have one unusual young person.
As it turned out, I wasn’t the only card-carrying member of the Nerd Brigade. Both J and N were (like myself) avid role-playing gamers. The upshot of this is that pretty soon I was in a room with them every week, rolling twenty-sided dice and saying things like “I seduce the barmaid wench using my +3 cloak of inebriation.” We gamed often and long, occasionally partying in someone’s room instead with a bottle of some awful Cinnamon schnapps and a smoking bong. You know, the standard definition of “higher learning.”
J graduated a year before me in 1997 and, not surprisingly, went to Japan to teach English. He extended a very generous open invitation to stay with him free of charge, and who was I to say no to that kind of deal? First, however, fate would smear me with a generous coating of humiliation.
It started in the fall semester after J’s departure. I was single, N was single, and we were both stoner gaming geeks. Why not see if the friendship could make a little transition into something more? Long story short, after a brief and embarrassing couple of months of “kind of, sort of romance” (drinking and talking awkwardly) she decided to let me in on a little secret. You guessed it, she and J were a couple. How could I not see it and why didn’t they tell me, you ask? Well, as it turns out, J had broken up with his old girlfriend the semester before and she was what they call “the jealous type.” Once he and N fanned the flames of ardor that summer, they decided to keep their tryst a secret so that the old girlfriend wouldn’t make their lives hell.
Now I hear you bellowing, what in the name of Odin’s beard does all this have to do with me going to goddamn Japan? Patience, young one. I was a music director at the college radio station for four years, and I had accrued a vast store of free CD’s and rare promotional items from major record companies. In late 1997, I managed to get a tidy sum of money from selling some of those items on the internet. I knew I wanted to spend no less than a month in Japan, and the only time that fit into my school schedule was winter break, from late December to mid-January. I booked the flight and told J. “Great!” he said. “You’ll be here the same time N’s coming to visit me. We’ll all be in the same apartment for a month!” I pretended to think for a second. “Yeah, sounds great!” I replied.
Just out of curiousity, I went to Amazon.co.jp recently and took a peek at what fans over there think about classic American movies. The comments are an interesting mix of nostalgia and poetry, thanks to the drawbacks inherent in using an online translator. I did do a very small amount of editing when sentences almost made sense but not quite. I think it speaks for itself. Here's a sampling.
"Watching in the theater at the time of real-time, this became one of my favorite movies ever since.
It makes me remember such fun childhood secret base, the make-believe adventures.
Struggling actor, this may be weighed heavily on the power of production.
It is not a masterpiece, it is not a smash hit for sure.
Itself will be seen as one of the memories."
"The presence of the girl, a pure heart and adventure boys! I saw for the first time decades ago and with two daughters by the age of 37, I realized that 'You're still a good movie.' This movie has a good feeling irresistibly handmade. This movie is a work that remains in the heart forever! Masterpiece arranged with "ET" "Stand By Me" as a movie sister!"
Back To the Future:
"Blu-Ray is so too clear, and you know the face, such as makeup and lipstick Michael J. Fox! During filming at the time, it was that actors are like this makeup style. · · · Investigation of time period has been carefully considered; set, also costumes, interesting way of life of local cities that American Dream of 1955 at full speed is glimpsed.
The sound is not a narrow range, such as dance and party scene of scampering Delorean. Feel powerful enough and turn up the volume.
The contents of the work will be in the classic masterpiece now."
"I was glad most, to hear a colorful subtitled voice! (it was dubbed in my first view of this movie.) Marty and Doc interaction dubbed mono tears! No matter how many times I do not get tired of watching people try color!
Viewing last scene after two hours, we instinctively clapped quickly in a row of the theater. Of course I love."
"Speaking of why "Star Wars" is interesting...
There is a theory on that.
They have followed in setting the stage for a sci-fi, poetic view of the world that humanity has inherited Lush cotton.
A universal narrative flow that, in the underlying, attracts the viewer.
That's right, too.
But do you yourself say you were stunned. It was a production that does not show the full extent of its hull, suddenly at the beginning of forever, even after the giant spaceship.
All began here, a watershed of any SF movie,
Monumental work. You lose the history of movies if you don't watch at least once in a lifetime.
"I met Star Wars for the first time when I saw it in the theater, a special edition in 1997. I was nine years old at the time, had been clinging to the armrest of the seat. In the rush of the Death Star scene I likely fell into the illusion of infinite space. Made me feel even more widely the universe and the dark theater big screen. Considering now, I think we were able to watch this movie at the theater and I was really happy. I wonder if it is not a great success as a remake of Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress."
I wept to figure out trying to make a movie interesting and obedient! Lucas Bonus and the splendor of the documentary. Do not miss the hot talk of the coaches that have been attracted to Star Wars!"
"When this series is still in theaters, SF things were not interesting at all to me. I was totally addicted to this world, very interesting and I watched with a light heart. I think "The Empire Strikes Back" was particularly well done. The second film of the trilogy is a role model so that it is difficult to make "Back to the future2" very good. In the scene where Luke's arm is cut, my voice has become almost involuntarily leave. It was leaving in the middle of the H · Ford scene also. It is something that is now unthinkable. Unfortunate wee bit is Toshiro Mifune is almost casted as Obiwan-Kenobi during fabrication of the first work. I did not realize that he has also turned down offers as the face of Dazu Vader in the third film."
"[George Lucas] has not limited changes to STAR WARS, the masterpiece, over and over again, changing the version, he changed, the goods change hands-
Yea, Yea do Godfather too. · · · if you do things like that [won't it] become pandemonium to resell the fan with it?
Old version is important so that everyone in the theater at that time as fans can always enjoy cheaper version later.
I think that I am angry, I think I'm a little different.
I do not have [the Special Edition version of Star Wars]. It is not a good DVD because I enjoyed the old unprocessed material,,,
Although I think that somehow I also wish that I bought [the Special Edition version] there is no way I would like it."
"From this movie I was able to understand "revenge" the first time in my life. It may seem unreasonable for Roy (Rutger Hauer). From the perspective of a Replicant, killing President Tyrell was a legitimate action. The "Blade Runner" uses "biological violent harm", rather than normal methods, such as "detention, arrest" of a "man who has committed a crime." The replicant Roy was the subject of the "kill-capture". When he shed tears like a human being, like any one of the characters, in a moment, then the audience lived with him in the movie. Never have I seen a movie like this!"
"I went to the cinema in Namba, Osaka when the film was first produced. I was a junior high school student and I thought I knew the synopsis in magazines in Japan.
(Advertising rattle alert! → Ads lie to the customer!)
I was very impressed that the lights of Dotonbori are the same as the Blade Runner landscape, because it was like being in the movie after leaving the theater! There was also a nice uncle who sell the chestnut next to the exit.
Impression at the time was of a movie that makes you feel to be adult somehow. I do not know the meaning of that.
Time to watch the DVD only, please I want you to stop the wet work momma."
"It is a masterpiece of SF movie filled with a lot of imagination.
Combination of Syd Mead and Ridley Scott.
The show is reproduced beautifully with a decadent air in the near future
A presence of Rutger Hauer's replicant is overwhelming.
With intelligence, "Rebel Machine", many masterpieces
Maybe it is the royal road of SF that it has created.
Rutger Hauer acts beautifully.
And the words of Harrison Ford are good.
"Say Kiss Me" is something I want to say once.
It is tantalizing words.
In [the Director's Cut] narration is turned off. And therefore you'll be able to concentrate on the video. It has become something more impressive.
It's also good music of Vangelis.
When the end theme is flowing, I reached a time of bliss."
"Since the story is very solid, a fantasy world is in front of your eyes. It seems to be what is happening in reality. In a scene they are attacked by Dinosaurs Zaurus. Raptor is looming. It is as impressive as you might want, such scenes many times your eyes can see."
"This work was released in theaters in 1993, and became a hot topic for the realistic dinosaurs. I think it is a matter of course, because the movements and facial expressions of the dinosaurs are too great. And the difference is full of humor and emotion, the masterpiece I enjoy with my family. Steven Spielberg makes work that gives the excitement to the viewer always. I think it will not change in the future. First of all do not kill the children. The best meaning of Spielberg's work is to be with each other. I want you to make a variety of work in the future also. Apparently there is also a plan of part "4", I want to achieve by all means. I want to experience the excitement of that."
"While said movie is a dinosaur movie, there is very little CG time of the dinosaurs appeared. Spielberg has made it very effective with limited usage of CG. It does not put out the dinosaurs suddenly from the beginning. In the darkness thin, I bring a human scream at the beginning in the first attack by a Velociraptor because of the "eating sounds", and the cry of the dinosaur. It does not show the dinosaur. It still does not show. . Velociraptor's actually reveal is the middle of the story. Technique of this is tantalizing. Stagecraft to fear becoming arrogant. It has been successful for the advantage of the fact that the poor usage of CG can be used in cost issues, creating a more enjoyable entertainment.
There are a lot of animal disaster films. Watch this movie for Spielberg techniques, and the subject matter of the ultimate class that dinosaurs became foul."
Back in late 2008 on Facebook, a meme swept over the population like a masturbatory wave.
Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.
Most of my friends did it, though somehow our circle called it "16 Things" instead of 25. It was so popular that Time Magazine writer Claire Suddath wrote an article called "25 Things I Didn't Want To Know About You," in which she called the idea "viral narcissism" and, less creatively, "stupid." The thing is, I like to hear stupid facts about people, even strangers. She went on to list 25 actual facts from the lists she'd seen on FB, all of which she found terrible and unworthy of her time...yet listen to some of these wonderful facts about her friends and acquaintances!
"I have been pooped on by a monkey."
"I was born with an extra kidney. I wish I could have sold it on the black market and made some money, but it was underdeveloped and did nothing but cause me to wet the bed until the third grade."
"I once sent a teacher into early retirement by pretending to be a cheetah and swiping at her from under a desk."
Come on, that's gold right there! I feel sorry Ms. Suddath couldn't comprehend the simple joy of useless trivia. Small talk may indeed be "stupid" but it's one of the many stupid things that separate us from pygmy marmosets. If you don't like hearing odd things about other people, stay home and hide like the misanthrope you are! Just kidding. I looked her up on the internet and she seems nice.
I never got around to finishing my list back then, but I started cleaning off some unfinished projects on my computer and managed to complete this project at long last. Immerse yourself in my useless personal trivia.
01. I love British rock and I love music from the 1980s. When the two meet, I'm in heaven. I'm amazed, this late in the game, to discover that Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration" album still speaks volumes to and about me. And XTC, of course: one of the most literate, musically talented, inspired pop bands of the last 30 years. I drink Andy Partridge's interviews like fine wine:
AP: “I Can’t Own Her” was a realization that you don’t own people. I’d just been divorced somewhat against my will, and somebody just walked out of my life, and I couldn’t own them. And somebody was just walking into my life, and I couldn’t own them, either. And it’s that realization that you can’t own people. You can love them, but it is an amazingly solitary feeling. You can love them and try to express that you love them, but there’s nothing to stop them from wandering off or dying or…well, do you see what I mean? You just can’t own people. Love is an incredibly solitary sensation, I think.
02. I'm not afraid of much anymore, but I still have this weird phobia of large bodies of water with giant shapes beneath the surface. The idea of being in the ocean with whales nearby -- even though I logically know they're basically harmless -- freaks me out. If you put on an album of humpback whale song, I get the chills and want to go somewhere far away where I can't hear it.
03. I never want to work for a company that wouldn't hire me because they saw a photo of me holding a beer on the internet. I hear more and more companies are using social networking sites to scout potential hires so they can eliminate you without ever speaking to you. Fuck that, quite frankly. Even if you scare people into making their photos private, guess what? They're still drinking and having sex...because they're human. Does that frighten you, corporations?
04. Luna bars bill themselves as "the whole nutrition bar for women." I eat Luna bars ALL THE TIME.
05. You don't cover David Bowie. David Bowie covers you. Which is to say, go ahead and record whatever you like, but I've never heard a cover of a Bowie song that I prefer over his original version.
06. I'm gluten-free since the mid-2000s, and I thank my lucky stars that everybody else in the world is getting diagnosed with this goofy allergy. Most supermarkets now have dedicated GF aisles. In the years before I was diagnosed, GF people had to really do their homework and play detective to figure out some of the foods they could (not) eat.
07. I've never broken any bones and only had one cavity. See #11 for more information on my skeleton.
08. When I was a little kid I had a recurring nightmare about a witch that lived on top of our house. And when I had a high fever from the flu, I hallucinated two football players throwing a ball back and forth across the room. My kid-brain was weird.
09. For the last 20 years I've been a dating disaster. Either I fell in love with them and they weren't interested, or the opposite happened, or we loved each so much that we had to run in opposite directions forever. Okay, I made the last part up but I'm sure it'll happen eventually. My heart's got terrible luck.
10. Back when my body could process gluten proteins, my favorite food was pancakes with maple syrup. Now the only option is gluten-free pancakes which are okay but not the same. So peanut butter is my drug of choice. Candy, ice cream, cookies...if it has peanut butter in it, I am there.
11. I've tried snowboarding twice. The first time I knocked myself out for a few seconds. The second time I cracked a couple ribs. I'm sticking to skiing from now on.
12. I love books. I love drawing. Paper is so cool.
13. Re: superheroes. I loved the Incredible Hulk the most when I was a kid. I watched the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno TV show religiously. I later watched the 1980s Saturday morning cartoon without fail. My parents gave me a nice dress-up shirt when I was little and I put it on over my Hulk pajamas so I could pull the shirt off and pretend I was undergoing Dr.Banner’s transformation into the green-skinned goliath. I’m fascinated by immense power in a living thing, particularly when that creature is amoral. I suppose that partially explains my fascination with tigers, but not entirely.
14. When I was little my family was Presbyterian. Usually I was in Sunday School while my parents were upstairs attending the actual service. But eventually I was released from Sunday School on parole and I would divide my time amongst various activities, like pilfering orange Hi-C drink from the church kitchen or visiting somebody's beagles at the house next to the church. When my parents brought me into the service I would end up embarrassing them by rolling under the pews.
15. These days I'm an atheist. I don't care what anyone else believes and I don't want to change anyone's mind. If you believe in God, terrific. I just started having too many science-based questions that religion isn't equipped to answer. I still think we can all get along, but then again I'm dumb enough to hope that politicians will work together in a non-partisan fashion. So naive!
16. I prefer red wine to white.
17. Like my grandmother I have a strong streak of wanderlust and I can’t get enough of new cities, countries, and foods. Like my mother, I am also equally at home, well…at home. Some folks can’t stand sitting around doing nothing. I even hear them complaining (!) about taking vacation time because they prefer to be at work. Well, I could sit in a chair reading books and count myself a happy retiree. So there you have it, the duality of man.
18. Just about every day I worry I am wasting my life, no matter what I'm doing, and then I think that it doesn't really matter because we'll all die eventually, but then that anxiety creeps back in. From conversations over the years I have learned that most people feel it too, at least sometimes, and that's comforting.
19. I've lost plenty of people close to me over the years and you know what? Having our old black lab euthanized when I was in college was just as painful as saying goodbye to the humans. She was such an awesome dog.
20. Like many folks, I use humor and false bravado to mask insecurities. It's a skill I learned early on but perfected in high school.
21. I played on a soccer (football) team in 5th grade and was lousy. They had me play defense which is the "You Suck" pity position. Around 6th grade I played Little League baseball. They had me play right field which is more or less the baseball version of the "You Suck" spot. My big brother Chris tried keeping track of my stats that season on blue-lined paper. He wrote a whole lot of zeroes in the Hits column.
22.I went back and looked at some people's lists like this one, thanks to Facebook's timeline function. We were into some funky stuff in 2008. One person said she can't stand having a wet face. Another person said he loved the Geico Gecko commercials with a passion. Ah, such an innocent time. When people would greet each other with a meatloaf and a "howdy neighbor".
23. I see a baby animal and I immediately go "Awwww!" and want to cuddle it. I see a baby human and I'm just like, "Meh, whatevs." I'm told this will change when I have a kid.
24. When I was a kid circa 1987-89, "hair metal" was king of the airwaves, especially amongst the redneck cognoscenti of small-town NH. Me, my parents and my big bro would go to Cheshire Village Pizza every week for family pizza night. Nobody I know goes there anymore but back in the day it was my absolute favorite 'za in town. The place was packed on a Friday night and we'd squeeze ourselves into a booth while the jukebox blared (much to our chagrin) "Paradise City" by Guns 'n' Roses, plus hits by Poison, Bon Jovi, and the like. I've since grown up and am much less of a picky listener. I can finally appreciate the simple, groin-level pleasures of 80s cock-rock. But I will always think of any hair metal as "Pizza Place Music." (PS - If you would like to know more about the drug & sex-fueled rock scene of Los Angeles in the 1980s, grab yourself a copy of the incredible photo/essay book "American Hair Metal" by Steven Blush).
25. My dad died when I was in college and even though he was a good father and I spent plenty of time with him as a kid, I still feel like I barely Knew him, and I miss him more every year. I'd love to pick his brain about how he felt at my age, or about his time in Germany during the 1950s, or even just have a cup of coffee with him and talk about surf music and Neil Sedaka. But you don't get second chances like that. It's something I try to carry with me as I clumsily shamble through life. It's all about love and family and happiness, and making the most of little moments. Like Warren Zevon said, "Enjoy every sandwich."
Thanks for reading.