Monthly Archives: February 2009

25 selfish things in 2^10-1 words

1. I live in one of the wealthiest parts of the only inhabited planet I can think of at the moment, but I still sometimes feel jealous of other people who seem to have it better than me.
2. I like to make things, especially things I’ve never made before; here’s a partial list:: a guitar, a virtual paper-folding simulation, a cryptic crossword puzzle, the coffee table my feet are resting on, a couple of sweaters, both long gone, a bavarian creme, also gone. Most of these things are misbegotten in one way or another, because perfecting a craft doesn’t happen if you keep skipping around like that.
3. I’d still like to write a novel, but the one I started kept growing and growing until I became afraid of getting lost in it with no way out, ever, and feared spending my whole life there. I saw that I could end up having written some all-consuming banality like Arcadia. Some time I’ll go back there and try again, though.
4. I am sometimes homesick for dirty old grumpy New York, but now everything seems so nice there. That city is too big for anyone to hold on to for more than a moment or two: it keeps getting polished with money and never remains the same.
5. 25 things is a lot to come up with
6. I never forward chain letters, or participate in group writing projects
7. I am not a team player, but people seem to tolerate me anyway. Maybe I am a team player. Or maybe people are actually finding me intolerable, like the woman on the train this evening who didn’t seem to like the way I blew my nose. OK, it was kind of loud, but she was really offended.
8. I like garlic. A lot.
9. I like to destroy things, especially other people’s preconceptions. This has probably tended to tie in to the whole “not a team player” thing.
10. I haven’t killed anybody, or written a symphony, or been to the moon, or made more money than Croesus, or taken over a small country in a bloodless coup.
11. My nose runs a lot, especially in the winter. I am starting to get some aches and pains that I am told will only increase. I have a small black spot on the sole of my foot that makes me feel stupid when I think about cancer and that I chose not to bother to have it cut out of my flesh with a sharp knife. Did I say it’s in the bottom of my foot?
12. The closest I have come to dying is when I drove a car off a cliff into some trees, but that was a long time ago, so I guess with hindsight we can see that I am closer to death now, in fact, as I sit in my cozy chair writing to you with my feet up on the coffee table that I made.
13. I used to think I was messy, but then I started a family and had dogs for a while. Now I am just a lazy neat freak, but the house looks about the same.
14. I don’t believe in God right now, but when I do, God exists. Sorry if that seems solipsistic, but this is 25 things about me, after all, and that’s just how I feel. I’m sure your God is always there for you – don’t get all defensive.
15. I can’t write anything about Ellen here because all the good stuff is secret.
16. I talk too much sometimes and too loudly; apparently it’s a family trait. I am trying to be a better listener.
17. I am very good at giving clear instruction, but terrible at enforcing anything. I am very good at following instructions, but can’t stand being told what to do.
23. Actually, about #8 – garlic is alright, but it’s definitely not one of the 25 most important things about me. I just liked the mood-enhancing short quality of the sentence more than anything else. Sorry, can I take it back?
18. Something about me you might not know is that my heart rate is really low.
19. Being competent has always been very important to me, and knowing the answer, too, but the more I think about that, the less important it seems.
20. I keep thinking there must be more to life than this, and then there is. But maybe I’m not unique in that regard. I think actually, that personality is overrated. Luck has a lot more to do with it. I’ve been very lucky, having made so incredibly many blunders, and yet I keep getting a second chance.
21. I like music that’s so weird that I don’t even like it, but every now and then I just want to sing along to the Beatles.
22. Virtue seems tedious to me. Of all the seven deadly sins, I think Pride is the best, followed closely by Envy. I’d like to invent a new one. Can Frivolity be a sin? Maybe not a deadly one, but it suits me. Humor is the best tonic for a bruised soul, and really the only attitude towards Death I can condone since the alternatives are so dreary. Maybe when someone I love dies, I’ll feel differently, but I think I’ll owe it to them to keep on laughing anyway.
23. When I die and people start rooting around in my stuff, they’ll find a lot of files called “TODO.” I hope someone will bother, but I wouldn’t wish that task on anyone I like.
24. 25 things is not enough to say what I want to
25. I’m right-handed, married, have three children, live in a house, drive a car, take the train to my job where I work with occasional complaints 240 days a year, eat red meat, green vegetables, white rice and drink coffee and beer and wine and water, go sailing and play soccer in the summer, get fat in the winter, stay up too late, get up too early, love my wife, fight with my wife, spoil my children, indulge myself far too much and go on far too long. Basically, I would say, to sum up, that I am just one helluva regular guy!