Sunday, September 11, 2005


In Which I Am Tagged Again...

Okay, because it's Sharfa asking, and because this doesn't happen often, I'll tag along on this one:

10 years ago: Awaiting the publication of my first book. In the mail, I receive two enormous trophies for a journalism award I didn't even know I was up for. I win in my category (really small magazines sub 40,000 circulation) and I also win the grand prize, pissing off the guys from Newsweek, the New York Times and the Washington Post, who usually win the thing. Alas, I can't attend the awards banquet. Why? My lovely bride and I are about to embark on a 10-day trip through Italy. I am totally feeling like King Shit.

Wish I had enjoyed that feeling more at the time, because when I got home it all went to hell in a handbasket.

5 years ago: Her Lovely Self gets us an incredible package deal for five days in Bermuda, at one of those cliffside resorts we could never afford ordinarily, the kind of place where people in uniforms bring you frozen alcoholic beverages while you snooze in beach chairs all day. At night, the beach is dark, but we cannot sleep. So we go skinny-dipping every evening. One thing leads to another. We have a FANTASTIC time. The only unexpected thing that happened was that our flight was delayed coming home.

A couple weeks later, Her Lovely Self announces that the flight was not the only thing that's late.

The following spring, when the Brownie is born, I joke that we are going to name her "souvenir of Bermuda."

1 year ago: After nearly four years of being on one prescription painkiller or another for a herniated disk in my back, I decide to take myself off all medications stronger than Tylenol. My doctor advises against it, but I have seen too many of his patients in the waiting room, with their dull eyes and their listless manner and I worry how long it will be before I become one of them. Maybe it's because I am my father's son, but I decide I would rather be in chronic pain than even stand on the precipice that overlooks the slippery slope to addiction.

You're supposed to taper off these meds, but I don't, and end up spending an absolutely miserable month dealing with physical withdrawal from the opiates, talking to my dad every day, and sitting up at night writing entries in my brand-new blog, entries that I never post (at least not yet). I keep worrying that the cravings will start, but they never do. My dad reckons I dodged a bullet. Not the first time that's happened, as he should know.

Yesterday: I spent a fun but exhausting day in a photo studio, supervising a shoot for a big holiday story I'm working on. I'm joined by our new intern, who is just agog. Her first day at work and she's participating in a big-time magazine photo shoot. I wish she could give me just a teaspoon of her energy. She appears to have plenty to spare.

5 songs I know all the words to:
"Tea for Two" and "I Want To Be Happy" from my high school musical (and which the Brownie insists I sing to her every night); the theme from "The Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)"; Luka Bloom's "You Couldn't Have Come At A Better Time" and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

5 snacks: Chocolate Twinkies (they are weirdly hard to find); those cunning little Ritz crackers filled with cheese; Froot Loops straight out of the box; apple slices and peanut butter; potato skins.

5 things I'd do with $100 million: Pay off my parents' mortgage on the house and land; pay to have my dad's 120 acres surveyed and subdivided; build my writing cabin on my portion of the land; publish my own line of comic books; and establish the Magazine Man Scholarship of Academic Mediocrity, which will be open to students with a GPA no higher than 3.3. Full tuition scholarships and stipends will be awarded to students who may not excel academically--who may even blow off a class or two--but who use their time in other interesting or unusual pursuits, such as creating a comic strip based on the Platonic dialogues, or having a really good blog. I will be the final judge of all awards.

5 places I would run away to: my great-grandfather's home town in Ireland; the village in France where my old French teacher and her family live; pretty much any place within a 20-mile radius of my parents' house in New Hampshire (it's all forest); a certain island on the St. Lawrence River; and any place in the summer of 1938.

5 things I would never wear: Any kind of fur, any kind of thong, any kind of turtleneck; any of my dad's garish painter's hats; any undergarment that has ever made contact with my brother's flesh.

5 favorite TV shows: Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (British version preferred), Sopranos, Justice League Unlimited.

5 greatest joys: Making my family happy, watching my parents interact with my kids, finding just the right way to put the words on paper, beating a deadline, and of course, seeing all of you here every day.

5 favorite toys: My laptop, the remote (any remote), my Mego Batman action figure, my iPod, my baseball glove.

5 people I'm tagging: Oh, I hate doing this--you shouldn't feel obligated--but here goes: Thimbelle, Tamara, Cute Little Box, Caustic Bunny, and Chuck.

More soon about my weekend with the kiddos, whilst Her Lovely Self was off on a trip with the Yummy Mummies. It was actually much better than my last stint alone with the kids. And I even have pictures!

Although I don't think I'll show you the one of the giant bruise on my hip.

Not without posting a vomit alert first, I guess.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

Just as elusive as the Chocolate Twinkie (and just as tasty) is the Hostess Chocodile: essentially a Twinkie dipped in chocolate.

Some call it a cop-out to coat your existing product line in chocolate.

I call it genius.

I'm no editor, but for god's sake man, jettison all thoughts of posting a picture of a vomit-inducing bruise and let's see the yummy mummies.

Seems obvious.


I am honored MM.


Okay, you got me! I shall respond but tell me how - in my own blog? I am such a newbie.

PS What if I am wearing a thong, turtleneck AND fur? Not that I am but still.
I am also enamoured with Whose Line is it Anyways? But, I do agree that Drew Carey pales when compared to Clive Anderson. The other characters are also much more interesting in the Brittish version.
Yikes! Tagged! However, it looks like a fun tag so I'll try working on it tomorrow. No promises, though.
I second the part where we only show yummy mummies and skip the vomit inducing bruise.

its the first time I seen you responding to a tag ... :)

look like fun.
Thanks buddy! I really feel like I know you better after this post. Would you adopt me?
publish my own line of comic books

So what sort of comic books would you publish?

Thanks for doing this MM! As I expected I got a good laugh and learned a bit more about you.

CHOCOLATE TWINKIES? They make chocolate twinkies?
am somehow comforted knowing that you would never wear a turtleneck --- unless a man is 6'3, buff and named "Marco", turtlenecks should not be a part of his wwardrobe

(okay, so maybe Robert Redford cn pull them off, but that's the rare exception)
I've read many of these silly tag things, but yours is the first interesting one I've ever seen. Kudos.
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