My Life

10 Random Things You May Not Know About Me

1. Salt on lettuce makes my tongue swell.

Not making this up. And it’s just salt and lettuce. If I’m having a salad with other ingredients, or lettuce on a burger, or any situation where there’s additional players on the food team, it’s all good, nothing happens.

And it’s not super-major, life-jeopardizing swelling where I suddenly drop to the floor and writhe about in a desperate bid for attention. It’s just enough inflation that I slur my words a bit. So if you’re talking to me on the phone and my speech is garbled, I’m either drunk or I’ve tasted of the forbidden, single-condiment leaf. Make notes accordingly.

2. I’m not a real big fan of Ben Stiller.

I’ve tried, I really have. I understand that he has a certain caché among intellectuals, and some of my friends and relatives roll on the floor in continuous laughter throughout his entire movies. But I just don’t get him. I don’t laugh, and I’m bored. Maybe it’s my particular genetic makeup. Or the salt. Just don’t make me watch him. Please.

3. I have an infatuation with Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour.

I’ve read it at least 10 times since it came out years ago. I’m just about to finish it up once more on my Kindle. The rest of the books in that series pale in comparison, and some of them are almost an ordeal to get through. (Anne, honey, if you don’t have anything fresh to add, move on.) But this initial installment, I heart very muchly. Probably because I can easily imagine myself as a witch in olden times who had magical powers, slept with lots of people they shouldn’t have and made a ton of money. This appeals to me.

4. I can go for days without speaking to another human being.

Some people can’t live without constant socializing and conversational validation. I am not one of those people. Yes, I greatly cherish an intelligent conversation, and I can talk for hours when I connect with someone. Sadly, this level of discourse just doesn’t happen in most daily human interactions. I’m from the School of Don’t Say Anything Unless It Has Merit. Most people aren’t even aware that this school exists, never mind actually passing the entrance exams.

5. I avoid confrontation.

There was far too much of it in my childhood, mostly from my father. Constant violent outbursts and mystifying rage and unending dissatisfaction with my inability to be what other people wanted me to be. When I finally fell from the tree, this apple made sure he landed as far away as possible. I will not be that angry person who lashes out indiscriminately. Will. Not. I study and I evaluate and I only confront if it’s something that actually has importance. Don’t expect me to be the one who bitches out a slow waitress or chews up a worker-bee about a billing discrepancy they didn’t create or yells at someone for cutting in line. That’s petty, and it passes. Use your justified anger in a manner that moves us forward as a society, not backward.

6. I am not a morning person.

If you need any semblance of productivity out of me before 10am, prepare to be disappointed. On the flip side, if you need me to explain the Theory of Relativity at 2am, call me. I’ll be wide awake and percolating away, much to the chagrin of the other denizens of this domicile who flee to their respective boudoirs and cat beds at the first hint of twilight.

7. Seafood is manna.

If someone decreed that I had to eat only that for the rest of my life, I would be fine. Not kidding in the least. We won’t discuss the cholesterol angle with the shrimp, leave that for another time, especially if you’re my personal physician who seems overly fixated with a certain figure on my blood test results. (“Why are you looking at me with pity and asking if I happened to eat a triple-meat cheeseburger just before the blood was drawn?”)

8. My favorite outfit is jeans and a t-shirt.

I’m one of the bad gays who has no interest in fashion. Sure, it’s nice and all, but I really don’t care what I look like. As long as I’ve recently showered, and my loins are covered in some way so that I don’t offend that contingent of people who are apparently ashamed of the body’s natural appearance, I’m good. It’s what you are, not what you wear.

9. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Everyone. The only life you really know is your own. Don’t judge so quickly. Third chances? Well, we’re pushing the limit a bit at that point…

10. I’ve wanted to be a writer since day one.

I swear I shot out of the womb clutching a typewriter, despite no photographic evidence to substantiate this claim. The careful manipulation of words thrills me. No greater love. And the best thing that you can ever do for me, if I may be so bold, is to understand this, and respect it. You don’t have to necessarily appreciate my output, or even like it, but at least realize that this is what I was meant to do and wish me well on my journey.



Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 06/12/11. Considerable changes made, although I tried not to jack with things too much, not wanting to alter my basic mindset seven years ago…

And yes, I’ve repeatedly mentioned several of these things over the years. When you have touchstones, you often touch those stones…


69 replies »

    • Something happens when you have blogged for as long as I have, in that you eventually let this thing go, and then that thing, and there is a building comfort in the building release. Many miles still to go, but so many less than there once were…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Id like to make some flippant remark about touching – but I shan’t (mainly cause I can’t think of a good one) I should try harder!
    Love this little insight into your quirks, very nice – just like you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t get Ben Stiller either, but then I don’t get Saturday Night Live for the most part. Maybe I’m just old. I have a dog I can talk to if I feel like talking, so humans are best rationed into small portions. I avoid confrontation, although as I get older (that word again) I’m finding I want to filter my words less and less. That could be dangerous. I have switched to leggings – it’s the muffin-top thing, and jeans don’t deal well with that, but tunics with leggings cover a large variety of sins. And Brian, a writer you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carol. And yes, as we rack up the years, it does become much easier to toss aside the absurd protocols of social interaction, Would our lives have been different if we had tasted of ennobling freedom during our salad days? Perhaps, perhaps not. But if given the chance to do it all over again, I would have spun the wheel much harder…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did pause a bit while I was revising #9. Because sometimes the first transgression is unforgivable. But then I thought, well, there have been times when I really didn’t mean to create the messes that I did. Still, I will happily call you Ms. Dark and Twisty, and you know I mean that in a very good way… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. And now I know a weensy bit more about you, which is simply lovely. Thank you.

    Now. #2? Since he made “There’s Something About Mary” (which, if you didn’t laugh, uh I’m sorry. That movie was hilarious (IMHO), but I have two X chromosomes and I understand every XY chromosome bearer everywhere who views that film has a moment where they clutch ‘the boys’ and commiserate.) Mr. Ben hasn’t done one damned thing (again IMHO) worthy of note. The movies are not funny, they ARE tortured “let’s try to make people laugh” wastes of film (again IMHO). But then I don’t care for Bill Murray (never did) and I happen to really like certain of Jim Carrey’s pieces. So we’re all weird. Never apologize.
    #3 … I really tried to read that one. I really did. But maybe it’s because I had just plowed (literally) through “The Queen of the Damned” and one more treatise on how wonderful it would be to be ‘different’ and immortal (not for me. Not EVER thanks. Eww), was a bit much. I understand that the subject matter differed, but I think I got about 10 pages in and said. Nope. Ain’t gonna happen. I’ve never read another of her books either.
    #4 I greatly admire you. I’m one of your club members too. My personal best is two days so far.
    #5 I used to. My mother and your father apparently had some long lost familial connection, because, while not violent physically, my mother was about wounding words and screaming and causing a big scene. NOW? I’m getting more and more like her, sans the screaming and scene (tantrum) bit. Yesterday I shocked my very soft spoken and genteel cousin when I told some asshole where to stick his car…
    #7 AMEN. And I absolutely do not want to know about cholesterol (bad kind, right?) and shrimp. That would ruin my day. I’ve been laboring under the impression that shrimp = protein and it’s a ‘safe’ food for me. I do not get the ones dipped in some kind of batter and deep fried. That’s a crime against the shrimp IMHO…no give me those great huge pink ones, steamed for an appropriate amount of time, and ‘raw’ (sans the shrimp shit of course) and get out of my way. Oooo.

    This is long enough. You know I’ve really missed you these past few days, right? Really.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once again you have given me this massive swimming pool of comments wherein I could do the breaststroke for days and still never touch everything. (Not complaining at all. I actually love this plethora of avenues, but I know full well that I can’t make the entire circuit.)

      #2. I have not seen “Mary”, which is kind of surprising, because I think Cameron Diaz is actually far undervalued as an actress. (Her performance in “Being John Malkovich” is sublime, but that’s probably just me.) This was one of those movies where too many people were urging me to see it, and I don’t respond well to that kind of pressure.

      #3, You may have made a wise decision here, with the not completing this book. It enraptures me, but I know without a doubt that you would not like the ending, even if it’s just one stop in the whole Witches saga that Anne Rice created. It’s a hard pill to swallow after the preceding thousand pages where you are led to believe the ending would not be what it was.

      #4. Seriously, I could easily not speak to another human being for weeks on end. But I could write to them every day.

      #5. I also see dormant signs of my father in my own behavior lately, and it greatly disheartens me. Luckily, I recognize what they are, and I do my best to quash them deeply.

      #7. Why can’t they invent a food that is absolutely delicious but does nothing untoward to your body? Why?

      And I miss you. It’s the interactions with lovely folks such as yourself that is making my efforts to slip away and write my books so challenging. There’s got to be a balance for me in all this mess, somewhere…


    • Oh, you’re already a writer. There have been many of your posts where I think, well damn, he said exactly what I would have said if I had any degree of focus… 😉


  4. “The School of Don’t Say Anything Unless It Has Merit” — I’m with you on that one.

    Goes hand in hand (almost) with “The careful manipulation of words thrills me.”

    I’ll read/write most subjects so long they revel in words, words, clever words 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, yes! So here’s a question for you.

        (I’ve been discussing it with Yahooey under my post . Don’t feel obliged to join the discussion there, but just so you know where I’m coming from.)

        Do you reread books and when? I ask because I’m curious to hear the opinion of someone who very much values words and their arrangement (like me).

        In particular: I don’t reread unless there’s a specific reason, and it’s usually because I forgot the ending, or forgot that beautiful phrase on page 5, or forgot that fact I wish I knew or that poem I can’t commit to memory. This means I partially reread non-fiction all the time for facts. And poetry for words. In between, I’ll fit anything that’s beautiful or useful, but I’m yet to sit down to reread a whole fiction book that I know the ending and plot of for any other reason than I liked the book. (For example, I reread “The Brother’s Karamazov” a few years ago, and I could reread it again today, but I would only do so because I’m intensely curious about the philosophy and because I have actively forgotten the crucial arguments.)

        (That last bit is copy-paste from an answer to Yahooey, in case you see it on my site too.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I definitely reread certain books, although in my case it’s usually for the evocation of a certain mood or a reminder of a writing style that I greatly appreciate. I often return to Anne Rice’s “The Witching Hour” because it satisfies both of these angles, even though she stumbles a bit if you get into the very fine details of her plotting. Anne Tyler amazes me with her ability to infuse poetry into minimalist scenes that other writers couldn’t even begin to handle with such finesse. Ray Bradbury does the same, as well as Garrison Keillor and Fannie Flagg and, well, I could list many others, mostly writers who imbue the everyday with something more. I can enjoy a carefully-plotted novel, but I rarely return to them, as the books that stay with me are those wherein I get lost in the telling and not the resolution….

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree about getting lost in the telling rather than the resolution—that’s key.

            Regarding Ray Bradbury: I recently reread “Fahrenheit 451” precisely because I remembered the mood, the fascination, the telling of it from years ago and wanted to experience it all again.

            I was disappointed.

            My memory felt fake and I regret dispersing the illusion—I’d rather have kept it intact, enshrined. (Though, I keep meaning to read his “Dandelion Wine”; I find the title inexplicable attractive.)

            There’s something special about the first reading of any book, something that binds reader and text in a way that every consequent perusal doesn’t… So these days I approach new books with reverence, because I know I only get one first time with each text.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Completely agree. And I just wrapped up my umpteenth perusal of “Witching” and, naturally, I have cracked open the “Lasher” sequel, which doesn’t quite satisfy, nor does the one after that, “Taltos”. But I have to read both of them if only to complete the cycle so I can run back to “Witching” and revel in the goodness all over again…


  5. 5 – My mother was your father, only via beeing a victim of the medical community’s gender bias at the time. However not beng confrontational doesn’t embue you with righteous butt-hurtedness when you are disagred with on a stylistic basis.

    10. If that’s true, see the second half of 5, above. Controversy and disagreement are the basic ingrdients to not discovering yourself complicit in your owncomfort zone. He said, demanding that you write and show us and eschew the calibrated re-runs. Because you can write. We know you can write. You say you can write, and yet…(wind whistling through canyon) here we are, complicit and complacent in expectation. Yes, I am the proverbial thorn. Carry on.


  6. Glad you did the rewrite as I missed it first time round due to not having been introduced to your pleasurable company at the time (which was a little remiss of the sis). I love words too – can’t write them very well – but I can read a well written volume with almost no plot as long as the words are beautifully crafted. I’m the sort of reader who wants to hear all about the misty landscape in all it’s seductive detail and then follow up with a few pages about all those feelings of insecurity and restlessness it evokes in the silent, damaged protagonist…all 10 pages of it! As long as the words are lyrical. I won’t turn down a good plot – except if it’s accompanied by stodgy writing and dull words.
    Love your words- they’re never stodgy or dull and definitely funnier than Ben Stiller!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for saying this, Lindy. I completely agree that the right wordsmithing can make almost any plot (or no plot) very enjoyable. Some of my favorite writers create such a lovely path that I don’t care where we go. I can sit for hours on a bench in that misty landscape and just listen. And as for Sis being a bit remiss, well, to be fair, it took the two of us a good while before we stopped quietly admiring each other from afar and then decided to take our relationship into the open. She just wanted to kick the tires a few times before she shared… 😉


  7. Just loved hearing about you but like the wistful smile of your profile picture best. Maybe it’s the mommy in me. This is one of my favorites of all of your posts. And must not forget to tell you how much I’m enjoying your “Wet” book.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a good photo. It made me not only open the post but also keep it open in my browser all this time and now read it too. I still haven’t figured out what it is about sea food and hormones of happiness, or is it writing and happiness. But it blends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Manja! Yes, seafood makes me extremely happy, although I should say that I like lots of vegetables thrown in there as well. Perfect joy = a long, leisurely lunch whilst ensconced on the patio of a cafe near the water, one where they don’t mind how long I stay, typing out my little stories on a laptop. (Oh, and sangria must be involved, of course.)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ohmygosh! Seven out of ten of these = me. I will do nearly anything to avoid confrontation.

    And – i have never read this particular Anne Rice novel. I think i should. Sounds def my yummy plate of shrimp!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought we might have a few things in common on this list. And I do think you’ll enjoy “The Witching Hour”, especially the extensive “history” of the many characters, where Rice excels in her storytelling….


  10. Hi you, man of the grumpy face but big heart! I’m making a brief appearance while I dig through my mountain of blogs to read!
    So, you’re one of the bad gays, eh? Love that. Didn’t know your fondness for seafood. That must have been maddening living in OK.
    Okay, I’m off now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you popped in for a quick visit, although I did hesitate on making this comment as I don’t want to distract you from your great adventure. I’ll try to be brief. Yes, the grumpy face has been there since birth. (The heart part came a little bit later.) Yes, I fully own my “bad gay” status. (I just never twirled in the same direction as my sisters.) Yes, the seafood situation in Oklahoma was wretched. (But I actually didn’t know any better until I started crossing borders. But now I’ve been to Spain, and I look back with considerable anger.) 😉

      Kisses back!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This post boils down to just two major categories, really:
    1. You like to be alone, but you don’t mind other people even if they’re douche bags once in a while.
    2. You should eat alone, but you don’t mind eating with other people, except when lettuce and salt comingle.

    Good information, however, should you choose to eat a wedge salad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve basically hit the most important tenets when it comes to my daily operational protocol. Now, if I could just get the rest of my family to understand these same things as well… 😉


    • 1. Uh oh. I might not have thought things through on this one…
      2. I just can’t bring myself to click on the link. Just. Can’t.
      4. Bingo.
      9. No. (I voted for Bernie in the Primary. I do appreciate Hillary, and she was (by far) the most qualified candidate in 2016, but she has a charisma issue with some voters and she has a lot of baggage, some of it self-created. However, if she does manage to become the Democratic candidate in the General election, I will vote for her.)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks Brian for sharing

    I think any writier or blogger should be willing to share facts about themselves humourous or otherwise.

    It helps the reader better understand the author and their words.

    Just remind me about the salt thing, if I’m making you a salad. 🙂

    Best Wishes


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Kevin.

      Thanks for your comment. And I agree, the more we share (in a writerly way or otherwise) the better we all are. The more we talk, openly, the more we learn, and the more we understand how much we actually have in common. Honest dialogue is key.

      And yes, I will remind you about the salt thing, when appropriate. It may not happen, but you never know when someone just might be making you a salad that you didn’t expect.




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