I stumbled upon this old interview between PopMatters and my estimable comrade Tod [A], and since I’m currently waiting for a string of crucial emails to arrive -- and a watched inbox never populates -- I thought I’d purloin the questions and address them myself as a rapturous exercise in self-indulgence. Like anyone cares.
1. The Latest Book or Movie That Made Your Cry
By and large, I don’t do a lot of crying, and -– if I do –- it’s usually prompted by something a little more personally impactful than a bit of literature or cinema. This all said, I do remember getting very misty through portions of Adam Gopnik’s “Through the Children’s Gate,” which is a collection of essays about raising children in New York City in the immediate wake of September 11, 2001.
2. The Fictional Character Most Like You
Cripes. I’m inclined to say Holden Caulfield, although that comes with a weignty share of baggage, being that “Catcher in the Rye” has been cited as some sort of primer for certain, infamous killers and assasins. I’m probably closer to Nick Hornby’s protagonist Rob in “High Fidelity.” Or maybe Howard the Duck.
3. The Greatest Album, Ever?
Just one? An impossible thing to pinpoint, but today I’ll say Funhouse by The Stooges.
4. “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”
I lean towards “Star Wars,” but I am experiencing a pronounced bit of fatigue with that whole scene. I’ve never lost my adoration, meanwhile, for the original “Planet of the Apes” series.
5. Your Ideal Brain Food?
At this stage of the proceedings, I think it’s ill-considered to only get your information from a single outlet. As such, I sample from as wide a spectrum of sources as can be accessed. Of course, viewing-wise, I have more time for MSNBC than for CNN, and the only FOX I watch is the local FOX news at 10pm, and that’s just for the weather. Reading-wise, out of loyalty, I still have a lot of time for TIME, and despite what certain parties may have to say about it, you cannot go wrong with the New York Times.
6. You’re Proud of This Accomplishment, But Why?
I would say I am tremendously proud of how well my kids have turned out, but I feel remiss asserting that said outcome is the result of my own efforts. At the very least, it was a group effort, and the lion’s share of the kudos deserves to go to my wife.
Otherwise, I would say that landing the job I currently have is something I am very pleased with myself about. After being unceremoniously discharged from my last gig and plunging headlong into long bout of crippling unemployment, I was feeling lost, broken and humiliated. So, to have found and earned a place at this new gig -– some eighteen or so months later, if memory serves -– that is such a better fit and that I love and have excelled in was, to my mind, a monumental achievement for me.
7. You Want To Be Remembered For…
Not sure I know how to answer this. I’ll take the cheeky cop-out route and say my high standards, impeccable taste and unsolicited outspokenness.
8. Of Those Who’ve Come Before, The Most Inspirational Are…
My grandfather on my mother’s side, probably. He was a lovely, big-hearted, razor-sharp gent with boundless curiosity and a kind word for all. He is sorely missed.
9. The Creative Masterpiece You Wish Bore Your Signature?
It’s not that I wish I’d written anyone else’s book. I mean, I can rattle off a list of favorites. It’s that I wish I’d written my own book. I’ve come very close, but it hasn’t worked out. Not yet, at least.
10. Your Hidden Talents…?
I’m a surprisingly adept bowler, I used to be able to draw quite distinctively and I can grill a reasonably decent steak.
11. The Best Piece of Advice You Actually Followed?
Always be on time. It’s efficient, professional, saves you extra stress and demonstrates respect.
12. The Best Thing You Ever Bought, Stole or Borrowed?
Bought? Probably the engagement ring I bought for my wife, being that she said “yes.” Stole? Probably the vinyl LP of It’ll End in Tears by This Mortal Coil from my college’s radio station. I was invariably the only disc jockey on the staff playing it, so I kinda doubt they missed it. Borrowed? Probably a black-leather motorcycle jacket from my friend Charlie. Charlie actually owned and rode a motorcycle for a while, so had a credible, practical reason for owning it. But, then he stopped riding it, for whatever reason, and no longer wore the jacket. I thought it was cool, so exhumed it from his closet one evening back in the late 80’s/early 90’s …. and never returned it. In 2018, it seldom leaves my closet, as there are arguably fewer things more tragic than a 50-year-old dad trying to look like a Ramone, but I do still have it.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or …?
I don’t think I’d know an Armani garment if you tried to smother me with one. I get my jeans at The Gap, usually, but more out of convenience than any brand loyalty. I do like Ben Sherman stuff, I must confess, but that’s only because I still naggingly feel obligated to dress like members of my favorite bands.
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
I’m assuming they mean the hotel in London and not the since-shuttered NYC music venue. In any case, so many likely candidates have since passed on. I imagine dinner with Spalding Gray might have been something special.
15. Time Travel: Where, When & Why?
Well, as chillingly detailed in the Ray Bradbury short story, “A Sound of Thunder,” going back in time and messing with stuff has radical ramifications, so I’d be disinclined to do that. In terms of the future, why rush it? We’ll get there, ….hopefully.
16. Stress Management: Hit Man, Spa, Vacation or Prozac?
Hiring a hit man to alleviate stress would only cause further stress. Spas are nice, but expensive. Vacations are indeed great, but then they end, and you come home. I’ve never been a Prozac guy. Personally, in stressful times, I like to do a lot of walking (which I do anyway) and surround myself with the people who care about me.
17. Essential to Life: Coffee, Vodka, Cigarettes, Chocolate Or…?
Coffee and Beer are my biggest vices, although I remain perpetually concerned that I consume way too much of the latter. I don’t believe I drink enough coffee for it to be a genuine problem. Beer? I could really stand to cut back. I don’t drink any hard alcohol. I don’t smoke. I do eat chocolates and sweet stuff, but not as irresponsibly as I drink beer. I could probably stop drinking coffee today and be totally fine. Beer? That would be boring and sad, honestly. But, we’ll see.
Things I absolutely could not function without? Wife, Kids and MUSIC.
18. Environ of Choice: City or Country, and Where on the Map?
I’m a born and bred New York City guy, full stop.
19. What Do You Want to Say to the Leader of Your Country?
“RESIGN IMMEDIATELY AND TAKE PENCE WITH YOU!”
20. Last But Not Least, What Are Your Working On Now?
At work, I have three major events looming in the next three weeks that I’m orchestrating video/editorial coverage for. At home, I’m working on getting my kids ready for the new school year (as detailed here).