Monday, March 28, 2005

100 Things About Me, Part the Third

51. Here are the parts I’ve played on stage, in roughly chronological order (excluding that grade-school performance as Tooth Decay): Bobby VanHeusen, The Boy Friend; Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest; Andreas Capodistriou, Whodunnit; Kenickie, Grease; Peter Quilpe, The Cocktail Party; Kilroy, Don’t Drink the Water; Argan, The Imaginary Invalid; Gary/George, The Actor’s Nightmare/Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You. (That last one was back in the mid-90s. I don’t perform anymore.)

52. If I were a character from Winnie the Pooh, I would be Eeyore.

53. I own seven working cameras. A Canon G2 digital (aka My Baby), two Holgas, a Soviet-made Lubitel TLR, a Kodak Box Brownie, a Zero Image multi-format pinhole, and a StereoRealist (used for making 3-D images). I also own two vintage Polaroid Land Cameras that look cool, but I don’t use them.

54. I have no yarn stash. Right now, extra money generally goes to photography-related expenses, so when I buy yarn it’s on a per-project basis.

55. Other kids run away from home. I packed a few belongings into a bag and went and sat on the curb in front of our house in Tucson, where I waited for my “real parents” to come and pick me up in their limousine. (Still waiting.)

56. I fell into Web design ass-backwards. I was working as a public relations flack when I was ordered to build a Web site for my employer, and so I did. And it turned out I was good at it. And lo, a career was born.

57. I hate building Web sites. I don’t even really like computers.

58. I am by temperament a pacifist, and I don’t even like the idea of hunting. But when I learned to shoot a rifle, I really enjoyed it.

59. I can wear orange and look good.

60. I collect antique/vintage cookbooks, etiquette books, and domestic manuals. My collection ranges in date from 1749 to the 1950s. I’ve garnered more practical information from these books than you might think possible.

61. These are things I would indulge myself in if the discretionary money were there: engraved stationery (including visiting cards), organic produce, expensive shoes, porcelain, linens, taxis.

62. Most of the time, I would rather make my own breakfast from scratch than go to a restaurant. They never get my eggs the way I want them.

63. I hate Sunday brunch. When I think of the precious Sundays I wasted in Boston, listening to vapid queens drone on about real estate, vacations, and the sex lives of those not present, I want to scream.

64. I tried sex with a woman once. I was in high school. She knew I was gay but thought maybe she could convert me. I figured “Why not?” as it was senior prom night and screwing around was well-nigh expected. It wasn’t dreadful, but on the whole I’d rather read a good book.

65. When my high school graduating class contacted me through one of those online services to see if I was interested in coming to the tenth reunion, I told them they had the wrong guy.

66. All the boys in my graduating class were required to take the military entrance examinations (women were allowed, but not required). Afterwards, I was contacted by three of the four branches of the armed services regarding officer training school. I told the Army and Navy to fuck off (and I quote), but was more polite to the Air Force out of respect to my father. I said I’d consider it if I didn’t have to live in the barracks, but could instead share an apartment with my boyfriend.

67. I like hot weather. I’m perfectly comfortable at temperatures over 100 degrees. On the other hand, being cold makes me miserable. So naturally, I live in Chicago.

68. If I ever visit a warm-climate city I feel I could live in happily, I’ll consider moving. The ones I’ve seen sprawl too much, don’t have decent public transport, and /or lack amenities I consider basic like opera companies, independent bookshops, and genuine street life. I want Chicago with palm trees, that’s what I want.

69. I love good food and truly enjoy cooking, but when I find myself at a table full of people who can’t stop gushing pretentiously about the exquisite cuisine and the transcendental wine, I want to mutter “It’s just food, dammit” and get up and go grab a burger at McDonald’s. Take a lesson from M.F.K. Fisher and Elizabeth David, kids – they defined food writing in our time and their highest accolade was “It’s very good.”

70. I’m considering getting a tattoo of the Cedar of Lebanon at the base of my spine. I have been considering said tattoo for 5+ years, and 20 years hence will probably still be considering it.

71. When I see guys wandering around Boystown with tribal or barbed-wire armband tattoos that they got when these were the height of fashion 10 years ago, I snicker.

72. My parents taught me to be very methodical when assembling kits or learning to use new tools, so I can generally puzzle out a DVD installation or furniture assembly without tears.

73. Given the example set for me by my amazing mother, who never threw her hands up and waited for men help her because she’s a woman, I confess I have zero patience for women who think breasts are an excuse to look with confusion upon power tools, gas pumps, lawn mowers, or anything else that needs to be taken in hand and dealt with. At least give it a try before you give up, for God’s sake.

74. I am always ready to eat peanut M & Ms.

75. I’ve spent most of my adult life expecting to die young (for no particular reason), and when I see the daffodils coming up and realize that I’ve made it through winter again, I am genuinely surprised.

18 comments:

Corvus said...

Thumbs up for Num 73. The number of times I've had women become sullen and vaguely hostile because I didn't give them preferential treatment when they batted their eyelashes and displayed cleavage... sheesh. All that potential human ingenuity wasted.

Colleen said...

Why this car is automatic
It's systematic
It's hydromatic
Why it's greased lightning (Greased lightning)

We'll get some overhead lifters and some four barrel quads
oh yeah
(Keep talking whoa keep talking)

A fuel injection cutoff and chrome plated rods oh yeah
(I'll get the money I'll kill to get the money)

With a four speed on the floor they'll be waiting at the door
You know that ain't no shit we'll be getting lots of tit
In Greased Lightning
Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go

leah said...

#60: I also collect old cookbooks, though mostly from the mid 20th century. My grandmother gave me one from the early 1950's that instructed the woman to make herself presentable by putting on makeup and a nice dress for her husband when he got home so he had something nice to look at.

#58: Me too oddly enough. Now I own my own .357 magnum and a .380 semi-auto. Whoda thunk it?

#73: Husband always gets frustrated with me because I won't share my powertools... and I have very large breasts.

I can't believe Colleen wrote out the lyrics to Greases Lightening. I wonder if she'd write them out for Matchmaker if she knew I was Yenta?

I truly enjoy these about me posts. So interesting!

markknitz said...

Very cool. This list gets better and better. And good you for doing it in parts. I just cranked mine out, but since I find myself infinitely fascinating I could easily crank out another hundred. NOT! You, sir, are a gentlemen. I toyed w/ moving to Chicago after graduation, but then the wind whipped off the lake and up my coat and I just couldn't do it.

birdfarm said...

#73 - ten or fifteen years ago, I read about this horrible bus accident--the driver lost consciousness and the bus careened out of control for blocks & blocks; lots of damage, injuries, and death. I can't remember the exact situation, but somehow the article noted that all (or most) of the passengers were women, and that none of them did anything, even though the bus kept going for several minutes--it wasn't just a matter of seconds. I remember being so angry that all these women had obviously been trained to be helpless victims, and that people actually died because of it!

(btw, hi Franklin, it's your long-lost college chum Virginia. Hope you're having fun in Amsterdam!)

goblinbox said...

GET. THE. TATTOO. ALREADY.

Sahara said...

Hey, I used to enjoy helping out women with nice boobs. First, I'd confuse them, then help 'em out.

This worked out great, back in the day–now it's returned to kick me in the ass as a knitting instructor. Except they don't get sullen; they just say I ain't SUPPORTIVE for not helping them. Sheesh, indeed!

Eldronius said...

Sorry this comment is so late, but I am just now going back and reading your older entries.

I had to mention that I also played George in The Actor's Nightmare! I had no idea anyone even knew this play, so it is very exciting to see a fellow male knitter had shared that same experience. I had a huge codpiece I refused to wear due to a snickering father.

Christina said...

Franklin,

I also love leaving calling cards. I bought a little silver case and keep mine in my purse. It doesn't have an e-mail address or the address to my blog, but simply my name, address, and home telephone number. Many people think it is old-fashioned (and if they just had my name perhaps they would be) but the little cards have come handy more than once and not just so I can flick one at a hot guy.

christine said...

I gotta give a thumbs up too for #73 - I've been fixing things my whole life, thanks to a wonderful father who refused to raise a daughter who couldn't take care of herself and most mechanical things........

Anonymous said...

You had a CURB in Tucson?

I second the tattoo idea. It's perfect.

-Lynn

PoMo Artisan said...

#68: So you've been to Atlanta? That pretty much sums it up. ;)

Quasipsyco said...

Having recently found your blog I have been reading through to get caught up.

Regarding #60
I have an old Manners and Social Usages by Mrs John Sherwood M.E.W.
title page can be seen here:
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/musdi:@field(DOCID+@lit(M237))

I don't hunt them down directly, but if I see one and I have the cash I pick it up.

Quasipsyco said...

My above comment cut off the url, so here's the tiny version:
http://tinyurl.com/2mfy5r

Nancy D. said...

You ain't kidding.....

Those women as described in #73 annoy the living daylights out of me too.

Not that I'm not happy to let The Mr. fill my tank and kill the bugs... But I CAN do those things. I'd just rather not.

Wasn't keen on changing diapers either....

Sue D. in NorCal said...

Late to the party, as usual... I'd be Eeyore, too. Favorite line: "Bouncy or coffy, it's all the same at the bottom of the river." Wrote that on my bedroom wall as a teenager -- my parents were *not* amused.

Vanessa Hubbard said...

No. 73 - Have to say I act helpless to people who came out of my womb. What's the point of having a tall son if you don't use him to change light bulbs!

Will be telling my gay virgin friends about No. 64.

Pat said...

#52 - Just found your blog. I thought that I was the only one who would be Eeyore. My family and friends make fun of me for it but he has always been my favorite.

Enjoy your blog and wish I could be as honest and forthright as you. Keep up the great work!