Self Portrait


Things you may care to know about me.

When I was eight years old, two bad things happened to my grandmother at the same time. The first was that she lost a tooth while eating black-licorice-flavored taffy, the second was that she died after a long, painful battle with lupus. Since the news of her lost tooth came within a few weeks of her being admitted to the hospital for what would turn out to be the final time, I assumed the taffy was the culprit. In my primitive, eight-year old mind, taffy gave you lupus, lupus killed you, ergo, taffy killed people, specifically, my grandma. I didn't eat taffy for, like, a month until someone explained to me that this was not, in fact, the case.

I consider my opinion of rap to be somewhat invalid because I immediately like every rap album I hear. I have a friend who is a huge fan of both Radiohead and the Flaming Lips, but every time one of these bands releases a new album, he immediately pans it because it's not as good as OK Computer or The Soft Bulletin. Eventually he comes around to the newer work, which makes me think his reaction to the new material is misguided at best, knee-jerk at worst, therefore, while I value his opinion, I don't always take it to heart. The same goes for me with rap; I loved As Cruel as Schoolchildren by Gym Class Heroes, Black Sunday by Cypress Hill, and Get Rich or Die Tryin' by 50 Cent. In fact the first two of these albums are good, but not great, and the 50 Cent one sucks ass. Anyway, what I'm saying is, if I offer my opinion on a rap album, ask me how long I've owned it. If the answer is less than two months, ignore whatever I have to say.

Inexplicably, about six months ago, I started hating McDonald's food. No, it's not because I watched Supersize Me! (which, honestly, only made me want a burger more), and it's not because I became a health nut (because I'm not), and it's not because I dislike fast food in general (I still go to Burger King, Hardee's, and the Jack-In-the-Box on a somewhat regular basis). I can't point to a particular incident, insight, or introspection that made me swear off the golden arches, but anymore the food actually makes me sick to my stomach to think about. This sucks because my fiancée loves Big Macs.

No matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to drink more than a sip of tequila I'm not saying I should be drinking tequila, I'm just saying I can't. That's all.

Despite my disdain for all things reality TV, I really like America's Got Talent. Even though it features David Hasslehoff and Jerry Springer ... Even though it's a derivative of American Idol (a show that I can't stand) ... Even though the grammar in the title is poor, at best ... Something about this trainwreck of beatboxers, ventriloquists, and Boy Shakiras appeals to me.

"Always Be My Baby" is a fantastic song. If you disagree, go fuck yourself.

The older I get, the more I enjoy small towns. Sure, the citizen's can be dangerously conservative and the economy is always ripe for death at the hands of a big-box store, but small-town atmosphere (old brick buildings, decorated shopfronts, neighborly behavior) always charms me. When I was growing up in St. Louis County, I used to watch movies about people living in urban areas. Sure, St. Louis is a city, but it's not a city the way that places like New York, LA, or Chicago are cities. I always fantasized about moving to the cities I saw in Ghostbusters or Ferris Bueller's Day Off or whatever. At the same time, I was convinced that if I somehow made it to one of these places, I'd drown. Now, I feel neither way. I'm entranced by the charm of cobblestone streets and stores that sell angel dolls made out of rope. And I feel no burning need to make my home in any city bigger than St. Louis, though I'm not saying I won't. By and large, I've met far more open-minded, artistic, diverse people by living in small towns than I have by going to bigger ones. Of course, I have to ignore the bigots, but that's true of almost anywhere.

I never know where I want to sit. Going to the movies, going out to eat ... I never know where to sit. If you happen to be going somewhere with me - good news! - you get to pick where we sit. If you leave it up to me, we'll be in the back of the theater or near the window, mmm-kay?

No comments: