Saturday, March 24, 2007

Six 'weird' things about me
Alright, my good friend and former co-worker Kristina over at Wicked Words blog has posted a few weird things about herself. What I found striking about the post was how alike the two of us truly are: ["Six Weird Things About Me"].
I already kinda knew that we agreed on a lot of things since we had a very good editor/reporter relationship while working at The Winchester Star back in 2003-2004. While we didn't agree on everything, she was a tenacious reporter and we did a great job producing the paper. I didn't know, however, that she loved Brussels Sprouts!
Seriously though, in reaction to her post, I'm posting a few "weird" things about myself here, just for the fun of it. I say, "weird," in quotes, because I don't necessarily think they are all that weird - although some people might. So, here it goes.

1) While I didn't start biting my nails because a book told me not to, I did bite them when I was younger and now, as an adult, I'm obsessed with how they look. At least once a day, usually at night, I look at them for whatever reason ... to cut, to file, or figure out a way to make them look better. I don't know why I obsess about them but I do and I always have, from as long as I can remember.
As a guitar player, I have to worry a bit about my fingernails. The ones on my left hand need to be trimmed as to not get in the way of forming notes on the fretboard. On my right hand, it is alright to have them long or short, unless you are trying to finger-pick the strings. Then, they need to be long.
Playing guitar, I've always been a strummer and not much of a soloist. I like rhythms and the rhythm of strumming. When I do play leads, they are often of a rhythmic or sound-scape nature, not arpeggio wanking, for lack of a better term.
A while back, I tried to start learning to finger-pick better on the guitar. In order to do that, I had to grow out the nails on my right hand. But, after about a few millimeters of growth, they would crack or bend back which was really annoying. I couldn't get them to grow strong enough. I tried mineral supplements which said they would strengthen my nails, but didn't. I even tried wearing nail gloss - an old guitar player's trick - and that didn't work either. I guess it is a DNA thing.
After a lot of practice, more than two decades worth, I have been able to learn to pick the guitar with my finger tips. It doesn't quite sound the same as finger-picking with your nails but it comes close. Guitarists out there will understand what I'm saying even though it may seem like I'm rambling about fingernails.

2) I won't steal your pens but I think I have a pen fetish of sorts. I only realized this back in January when I had to go to Staples for some resume paper and to look at fax machines because my wife hates the one we have, which prints out the faxes on this funky ribbon ink thing which keeps jamming and is a total disaster. After looking at a bunch of stuff at the store, and checking out the new computers with Vista on them, I found myself browsing the pen aisle ... like I always do. I was walking around looking at all the pens and, for whatever reason, I kept thinking that I needed to leave the store with some new pens.
But the fact is that I don't need any new pens. I have scads of pens, probably close to 100 of them, lying around in various places in my house. I have them in my office supply box, in a box by the phone, in a box in our home office area, in a plastic tool container, in gig bags and kitchen drawers. There are pens everywhere! I don't need any new pens. So, why do I also end up in the pen aisle looking to buy pens when I don't need them? I honestly don't know.
As an aside, pencils were always my preferred writing tool until someone told me that shrinks believe that people who use pencils are afraid to write anything which is permanent. Pencil lead can be erased and pen ink can't, the thinking goes. That's an interesting perception of sorts and probably is accurate in some way, shape or form. But what does that say for people who use a delete button on a computer?

3) Some of my life experiences could easily be adapted to long-form television or feature films but probably never will. And frankly, that's OK. The last thing I want to be is the subject of some cheesy Movie of the Week or something like that. Although, I wouldn't mind the payday of a screenplay concept or two. But publishing? Well, that's a different story. And after 28 months in radio, I do miss the publishing side of the media business in so many ways I can't even begin to explain.
However, publishing - books, newspapers, and magazines - is getting hammered these days. In some ways, they are becoming so lost in the wake of technology. Everyone should truly fear for the future, especially since so much important information is transferred to the public via these formats. But who has the time anymore to read? I surely don't and I love books, newspapers, and magazines.
I've pretty much completely stopped all book purchases in the last nine months or so. I did buy one - the 2007 edition of Censored which I buy every year to, a) see what stories they have in it and b) to support this really important project. But that's it. Before that, I started limiting my book purchases to paperbacks because I'm running out of space. I just don't have room for anymore hardcovers. Since I buy mostly non-fiction books, the paperbacks are often updated with new information which was not included in first edition hardcover versions. They are also less expensive to purchase which means I can buy more of them.
I do still subscribe to a bunch of magazines but I do so mostly for professional reasons, not leisure reasons. I currently get the following:
Vanity Fair, Columbia Journalism Review, Consumer Reports, and PC World, all of which are excellent reads;
New Hampshire Magazine, which is pretty good and I know and like the editor [Disclaimer: I also blog sometimes for NH Mag's Area603];
The Progressive and Mother Jones, which I bought on a beg whim and have good journalism in them but will let lapse when renewal comes since I don't take the time to read them;
Campaigns & Elections, a political business trade publication which I continue to subscribe to because I never know when I will have to go back to working on a campaign. Media work is so spotty and fickle these days, it's always best to try and have something as a backup.
There are truly too many stories to tell out there and it is a shame that none of them will be told. As I move on into the later stages of life, I may tell some more stories and may even try to sell them. I've told a bunch of them here already. But there is always room for more.

4) If I'm not exhausted, I can wake up on time without an alarm clock and often end up waking up before the alarm is set to go off. It's pretty strange thing to need to wake up at a certain time and then, poof, it happens. I'm often amazed about it actually. In September, I needed to wake up very early, around 3:30 a.m., to prepare for a flight to Texas. I was up two minutes before the alarm went off and was shocked that I was able to wake up! Since starting to workout regularly last October, I fall asleep earlier and get up earlier and tend to sleep longer, which is a good thing. And even though I have the alarm set most days to get up in time to get a good workout in, I wake up before the alarm goes off.

5) I live my life by mottos taken from two Frank Capra movies and I'm not ashamed to admit this even though it may sound corny. "The only causes worth fighting for are the lost causes," stated Sen. Jefferson Smith, from the Senate floor during the filibuster scene in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. If you haven't seen the movie, you should, it is worth the time. I slightly alter the quote when sharing it with people, usually saying, "Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for." It's a tad shorter but says the same thing. I'm also not ashamed to admit that I cry at the end of It's A Wonderful Life ... every time. After I watch it, I also tell myself that not matter how bad things may be at any given time, it's great to be alive. "Remember no man is a failure who has friends," is the line which the angel Clarence writes to George Bailey at the end. Interestingly, Jimmy Stewart played the leads in both movies. Other sappy mottos to live by? No one is a failure if they try. Another? "The only vote wasted is the vote not cast." Sorry, took that one from Ralph Nader.

6) I too love Brussels Sprouts. In fact, the more boiled and mushy they are, the better! I love almost all vegetables and try to find new ways of preparing veggies in order to keep them interesting. Of late, food has become very boring to me. It is even more boring as the daily meal has become more mundane - steak, hamburger, chicken, pasta, pork, steak, chicken, pasta, hamburger, pizza, etc. Boring. The key is time. Do you have the ability to try and make the bland and ordinary interesting and and worthwhile? Since we live by food, it might be worth the time. So, my main goal for the future is to try and cook new things and make food less boring, truly a worthy goal.

1 comment:

Wicked Words said...

Tony! We're long lost twins!

I didn't take you because I knew Politizine was a mostly newszine, but I'm glad you did. Here's to weirdness!

By the way, I'm still using my CNC pens! :)