Alright, alright, I’ve resisted this Facebook virus, this “25 Random Things” long enough. It’s been sweeping the land, sucking in everyone in its path, like a malevolent black hole. And now you won’t leave me alone! You can't get enough of me, you just HAVE to know more about what makes me tick, what I care about, the things I deem important in life. What better way to do that than by discovering 25 random things about me? So fine, OKAY! I’ll tell you 25 random things about myself. Relaaax. But let’s be very clear here, I’m only doing this to make YOU happy. This is not for me. I'm not such a loser that I need this kind of attention. I don’t require a self-indulgent exercise like this to gratify my own ego by going on and on about myself. I don’t need it, seriously. This is an act of altruism on my part; it’s not for me, it’s for you. So HERE!
1. I detest unoriginality. Like the idea of this list and the thousands of copy-cats that will follow, which I will most likely ignore.
2. I often contradict myself.
3. I’m a sarcastic prick a lot of the time. I wish I could stop, but I enjoy it too much. Actually, if I’m being honest, I don’t want to stop at all. And I really don’t care if it’s a defense mechanism or something I’d be better off without. As Vincent Hanna said in the movie Heat while discussing his angst: “I keep my sarcasm here. I preserve it because I need it. It keeps me sharp, on the edge, where I gotta be."
4. As previously accounted on this blog, during my long, 40-year career, I have owned many hairstyles. Here are a few, correlated by age:
Newborn (The Alfalfa). No ridicule allowed, as I had no choice in the matter.
Pre-pubescent, ages 6-13 (The Moe a/k/a The Bowl a/k/a The Dorothy Hamill). These were really bad years, a true, follicular nadir for me. I can't look at a picture of myself during this epoch without cringing.
High school (Spiked Mousse with occasional rat tail accompaniment). I used more product in my hair during the 80s than Vanilla Ice.
College (Confused Potpourri). I went from Spiked Mousse to military cut to mullet to preppy cut parted on the side to long on top, short in the back to God-knows-what. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing in college. And it showed.
Post-graduate, 20s (The Wedge and yes, for a time there was The
Ponytail (sigh)) These were my best hair years, when I had so much to work with and operated under the foolish delusion that it would last forever. How wrong I was.
30s to present (The Short and Blunt). Kind of like me. Basically, I’m working whatever I’ve got left for as long as it lasts.
5. I own close to 2000 comic books, mostly Spiderman and Avengers, and have lived with them in four small New York City apartments. I keep them in a closet, sealed in plastic bags with white, acid-free posterboard backings and stacked in long comic book boxes. Cuz I’m a Virgo. I began my collection at the age of 8, when my cousin Paul agreed to give me 20 Invaders if I’d sing “The Night Chicago Died” by Paper Lace. Then again, it may have been “The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicki Lawrence. I remember the word “Night” was in there. I didn’t know the words, but I knew a deal when I saw one. Still do. Now I have a bunch of comic books and Paul doesn’t have any. See what a little humiliation can get you? I’m not above that.
6. I have more female friends than male friends, and I prefer it that way. Some exes don’t. Or didn’t.
7. When I was young, I trusted people too much. Now I trust them too little.
8. My first car, handed down to me by my father, was a powder blue, AMC Gremlin. It had a black racing stripe down the side, as if that accoutrement could solve its image problem. No power steering either, so it took me a half an hour just to make a right or left turn. It had six cylinders though, so it could fly. But the best part of the Ol’ Gremlin was that whenever I went parkin’ down by Hampton Beach with some lucky lass, everyone in southeastern New Hampshire KNEW who was in that car. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.
9. Four things I believe in that you probably don’t: reincarnation, a sixth sense, universal consciousness, and UFOs.
10. Four things you probably believe in that I don’t: organized religion, hell (other than the place we’re in now), terrorists are lunatics who hate us for our freedom, and the importance of patriotism.
11. If I had any balls, I’d quit my job, apply to MFA school, and devote myself to writing full-time. But I left my balls in a posh office on Broad Street, where a fat Sullivan & Cromwell partner made me a lucrative offer to join the firm as an Associate in 1995. It's been a downhill compromise ever since.
I miss my balls sometimes.
12. I’ve often thought that I’m too attached to New York City for my own good.
13. I have little patience with the following people: those who push their way on to the subway before I get off; “true believers,” be they atheists or fundamentalists of any religious stripe who think they know it all; those with martyr/victim complexes; the highly attractive, who act as if fortuitous genetics absolves them of the need to have a personality, compassion for others, and/or a brain in their head; and the unfailingly stinky.
14. On a related note, repeated use of a bad-smelling perfume can turn me off for good.
15. Habits I have that do not make me gay: a regular shiatsu, manicures, pedicures, wearing cologne, a clutter-free apartment, and carrying a murse a/k/a male purse a/k/a man bag. Gentlemen, before you mock me on the pedicures, which an ex introduced me to a few years ago, take a reeeeeal good look at your Flintstone feet and lawnmower toenails and get back to me. And yes, I hate the word “metrosexual.”
16. You couldn’t pay me enough to shave all the hair off my body, for I have no desire to look like one of those Davidoff Cool Water models. However, a tidy manscape now and then is certainly reasonable. Wait, was that too much information? It’s a fine line, this silly list.
17. I am not a morning person and never have been. If you talk to me before 10:00 a.m., you likely will be met with a growl in response. In high school, when I was forced to catch the bus at 7 a.m., I’d sleep until 6:30, shower, dress, and brush my teeth, and run to meet the bus at 6:57. In the wintertime, my still-wet hair would freeze on my head, forming tiny hair icicles that I’d crunch with my fingers once I got on the bus. Now that I’m an adult, I get up when I want. On Christmas morning, I’m always the last one out of bed. My family always bitches, and my nephew and nieces literally have to jump on my bed to get me up. What they all don’t realize is that I’m doing it for THEM, not me. Don’t fuck with Mr. Zero.
18. Ladies, I’m really glad you can’t read minds.
19. I love my nephew and nieces like they were my own kids. My nephew, who’s seven, often wears the same world-on-his-shoulders look on his face that I carried around at his age. This concerns me. So when we were on our Christmas cruise this past December, I told him that if there’s ever anything he wants to talk about, anything that’s bothering him, he should feel free to come to me and talk about it. He looked at me for a moment, then he said “Uncle Tim, what does ‘gay’ mean? I know it means ‘happy,’ but what else does it mean?” Shocked and chastened, I promptly referred him to his father. Henceforth, I will look both ways before diving into deep water without my floaties.
20. I’m afraid of snakes, bedbugs, ocean water that’s over my head, tight spaces, and death. Uh, to name a few things.
21. I think the use of antibacterial soap will end up exterminating the human race. If global warming and nuclear war don’t get us first. The future version of me isn’t too pleased about any of these possibilities. Or the asteroid.
22. I don’t take medicine – not aspirin, not Sudafed, and especially not flu shots – unless it’s absolutely necessary. But I do believe in napkining bathroom door handles and washing my hands (with regular soap, not the antibacterial shit) after holding a subway pole. I don’t get sick any more than anyone else. In fact, I’d say it’s less.
23. When I was a kid, I played with guns all the time. All the time. I revered cop shows like Starsky & Hutch, S.W.A.T., Baretta, and the M.O.D. Squad, and for some reason, my parents had no qualms about letting me play with plastic pistols, M-16s, or any other toy firearm I could cajole them to buy for me. I played Army in the backyard, crawling on the ground in my plastic green helmet and M-16, ready to shoot at anything that moved. My friend Anne and I used to pretend we were Starsky & Hutch, and we’d ride around the neighborhood on our Big Wheels spying on neighbors and fighting imaginary crime. Then we’d shake down our sisters, who alternated as Huggy Bear. One would think that with this kind of background, I’d be a gun fanatic at this point, subscribing to Soldier of Fortune magazine and going hunting with Dick Cheney. But it’s quite the opposite. I’ve never held a real gun in my hand and have no desire to. I’d never even THINK of having a gun in my house, even unloaded. And the thought of shooting a gun or rifle at a living thing -- person or animal – makes me nauseous. In other words, unless it’s self-defense, I can’t get behind guns. So parents, the moral of this story is, don’t be afraid to let your kids play with guns. They won’t end up more violent than anyone else. Unless, of course, you're raising a little Jeffrey or Jane Dahmer. Then you're on your own.
24. Three books that have impacted my life: Siddhartha, The Disappearance of the Universe, and A Course in Miracles.
25. I have taken the Lord’s name in vain and coveted my neighbor’s wife more times than I care to count. On the upside, I honor my mother and father, and so far, I’m doing pretty well on not stealing or killing anyone.