Sunday, January 25, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

1. My father's first name was Allen, but I was given a different middle name so that I wouldn't be a junior. Until I went to kindergarten, everyone called me Stephen. Even after that, family friends and relatives continued to call me Stephen.

2. When I installed a woodstove in the first house I owned, back in the 1970s, I cut sheet asbestos for insulation with a power saw and didn't wear a mask.

3. The first two books of poetry I bought, at age 15, were The Selected Poems of Ezra Pound and Rimbaud's A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat, both published by New Directions.

4. I have been married four times.

5. I once dated Muriel Rukeyser's second cousin, who is also the daughter of Bill Rukeyser (Money Magazine) and niece of Louis.

6. I was born during a blizzard in October.

7. I prefer to drink English-style beers.

8. I have never lived anywhere except in New York State and Pennsylvania.

9. I have visited 35 states.

10. I had four stents placed in three arteries after my heart attack in 2003.

11. I own all four Die Hard movies on DVD.

12. I never finished Middlemarch. I thought it was one of the most boring books I ever read and can't understand why it's supposed to be a masterpiece.

13. When I first read Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, I didn't recognize the word "pubic" and thought it was "public" and couldn't understand why genital hair was called public hair since it was private. Although I also didn't understand about irony, I think that's what I thought it was.

14. I really enjoy both reading and writing in polysyndeton.

15. I got drunk in Florence in 1987. (That's in, not with.)

16. I developed a life-long problem with insomnia when I was eight years old and scared myself by trying think about infinity before going to sleep.

17. I am a compulsive maker of lists, but this exercise is very difficult.

18. I had my left earlobe pierced in 1977.

19. I like the smell of skunk because it makes me think spring is coming.

20. In 1980 I realized that I had a drinking problem and went clean and sober for seven years.

21. I hate--I mean, really hate--baseball.

22. I once almost ran into Telly Savalas when he came out of a revolving door in New York City. I don't think he even noticed.

23. I have never had sex in a taxicab.

24. I have never understood why anyone would want to warch Barbra Streisand in a movie. Or even listen to her sing. Or want to read gossip about her. Or, god help me, marry her.

25. I have large burn scars around my left and right ankles, and if you're really nice I'll tell you the story.