Monday, August 14, 2006

100 Things

But perhaps you’d like to know one or two or 100 things about the person who fathered and writes about The Quartet:

(List is subject to change)

1. I was pulled out with forceps in 1970.
2. If I’m in control of the situation, there will always be music playing.
3. That music will almost always be jazz.
4. I have circumnavigated the globe alone in a 32-foot sloop.
5. I was caught in a boat prop in 1997 which sliced my right leg from calf to thigh.
6. The furthest I’ve ever run at once is six miles.
7. I’m six feet tall.
8. I met my future wife 19 years ago.
9. I knew immediately I would marry her some day.
10. I envy my sister’s artistic ability.
11. The first girl I ever kissed lived across the street from me.
12. I’m Catholic.
13. I own three businesses.
14. I got my only tattoo on my 25th birthday.
15. I’m prone to anxiety and depression.
16. I’ve had back surgery to remove a ruptured disk.
17. I have extra bones in my mouth. It's genetic.
18. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
19. As a chauffeur, I drove Halle Berry, Courtney Cox, LL Cool J and The Kids in the Hall, among others.
20. As a chauffeur, I was unwittingly present when several marriages were consummated.
21. I would like for one of my children to become a naval architect.
22. I’m nearsighted.
23. Had I not had any children, I’m certain I would have joined a military service on Sept. 12, 2001.
24. I like Tanqueray with tonic and Bombay in a martini.
25. I was in a band once that broke up because I was so bad.
26. I have a drawer full of rejection slips for short stories from various magazines.
27. I’ve developed a fear of heights as I’ve aged.
28. I tend to overthink things.
29. I should be paid to parallel park.
30. I once foiled an armored car hold up with just an umbrella and a three-week-old copy of The New Yorker.
31. I once collected a menagerie of reptiles and kept them in a room in my house.
32. I lived in Taos, NM, for four days in 1997.
33. I don’t like to fly but won’t let that fear stop me from going somewhere.
34. I would like to learn to fly an airplane.
35. I’ve read A Moveable Feast no less than half a dozen times.
36. Though I love it, I can’t bring myself to read A Moveable Feast again.
37. My eyes are hazel.
38. The first concert I ever attended was Cheap Trick.
39. I met Dave Brubeck.
40. I have lost more sleep worrying about money than I care to think about.
41. I envy my wife’s optimistic attitude.
42. I was in New Orleans two weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit.
43. I have never lived in the same house with my youngest sibling.
44. I believe I’m a better carpenter than I actually am.
45. I can juggle.
46. W. Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite writers.
47. I have installed bilge pumps on a 64-foot cabin cruiser.
48. I can’t drink bourbon any more.
49. I was a domestique in the 1999 Tour de France.
50. Miles Davis takes my breath away.
51. I have a grandfather who invented a cotton picker and a great-grandfather who won the Pulitzer Prize.
52. I would find it very difficult to ever work for someone again.
53. I have a double espresso every afternoon at work.
54. I have no feeling in my right shin or the top of my right foot.
55. I once spent a night in jail for kissing a white woman on the lips in Alabama.
56. Three movies I can’t turn off when I come across them: The Godfather, Big and Die Hard.
57. U2 is the soundtrack to my high school years.
58. I went through nine years of Catholic school.
59. I have a tendency to blush.
60. My wife and I once played strip poker with two other couples.
61. I feel intensely protective over the women in my life.
62. I fight the urge to vomit no matter how sick I feel.
63. I’m curious.
64. I was six feet tall and weighed 140 pounds when I graduated from high school in 1988.
65. If I could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, that person would be Groucho Marx.
66. I was hit in the face with a ceiling fan in 1983 and received three stitches in the bridge of my nose.
67. A masseuse once stopped in mid-massage with me to tell me she wanted to quit that profession.
68. It’s my voice that can be heard in the audience screaming over all others on the album Elvis Costello Live at The El Mocambo.
69. I am repulsed by bathroom tile.
70. I’ve been to Mardi Gras.
71. I prefer to travel by train when possible.
72. I enjoy playing craps.
73. The only time I’ve ever hunted was when I was 15, for dove.
74. I spent my 16th summer living and working for my uncle in Naples, FL.
75. I got my driver’s license at 17.
76. I cried when each of my kids was born.
77. I would like to be a better cook.
78. I have written for the local newspaper of record.
79. I am the fourth generation to have a byline in that newspaper.
80. Three guilty pleasures: Prince, buffalo chicken wings and The Simpsons.
81. I still regret going pro too early.
82. I procrastinate.
83. My favorite part of every day is coming home and hearing my kids scream, “Daddy’s home!”
84. I’m still not sure I’m the man I intended to be.
85. The worst night of my life took place in a hospital, though I wasn’t hurt at all.
86. I got caught shoplifting in 1987 (this is the first my mother has ever heard of this).
87. I’m a smartass, but it’s genetic.
88. My wife and I plan to live on a sailboat one day.
89. I’ve never sailed.
90. I make things up, though only six items on this list are fiction.

And we'll now close with the 10 questions made famous on "Inside The Actor's Studio," which James Lipton stole from the French series, "Bouillon de Culture," hosted by Bernard Pivot, because the French are notoriously bad at defending what’s theirs.

Q: What is your favorite word?
A: Curiosity.
Q: What is your least favorite word?
A: Cocoa.
Q: What turns you on?
A: Optimism.
Q: What turns you off?
A: Bad grammar.
Q: What is your favorite curse word?
A: I can't, my grandmother reads this shit.
Q: What sound or noise do you love?
A: Billie Holiday’s voice.
Q: What sound or noise do you hate?
A: Children crying, unless it’s just after birth.
Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A: Novelist.
Q: What profession would you least like to do?
A: Furniture sales.
Q: If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive?
A: Wow, you’re old.