16 Random Things About Me

So today one of my Facebook friends tagged me in one of those deals where you’re supposed to write 16 random things about yourself. So I did–and here they are. (Oh, about the Satan play, if you know what I’m talking about: more on that very soon! Thank you for your interest!):

1. I am, by nature and training, extremely adverse to saying or writing anything about myself that anyone could ever construe as bragging or pretentious. Which sounds pretty darn pretentiously braggy. So never mind.

2. I’m acutely aware of the determining quality of contexts. Just now, for instance, I’m experiencing a deep appreciation of what a large number 16 can be.

3. I haven’t spoken with or had any contact with my mother in some 30 years.

4. I’ve seen my sister maybe four brief times in the past 35 years.

5. I am missing the gene that I think is supposed to inhibit my saying just about anything about my life to just about anyone. What do I care what people know about me? I figure life happens about the same to all of us. So what’s to hide?

6. I find an extraordinary amount of stuff funny. I would say the single biggest blessing of my personal brain is how readily it makes stuff funny for me. I sincerely crack-up a LOT.

7. I have spent virtually all of my life learning to write as well as I do. Of course that hardly means I’m a great writer; it only means that (duh) I know how I’ve spent my life.

8. While I believe that for the good of all people God opted to manifest on earth as the figure known to history as Jesus Christ, I’m not at all keen on telling people I’m Christian, since I know how likely it is they’ll then automatically ascribe to me a whole universe of beliefs that I don’t even almost hold.

9. I’m convinced that in about 20 years poetry is going to be huge. Text messaging plus exhaustion with endless exposure to the strict linearity of conventional plotlines plus a universalized imperative for intense, succinctly expressed personal aesthetics is guaranteed, I say, to equal Poetry Resurgence. You just watch.

10. I think that perhaps the primary purpose of the human sex drive is to force everyone, in their most private heart of hearts, to constantly realize how utterly and absolutely out of control they are of the Gargantuan Forces that determine and define the very nature of life.

11. I believe that it’s an exceedingly terrible idea to make your living, as so many religious leaders and authors (almost necessarily) do, as a Moral Leader. The moment you set yourself up as someone more moral than anyone else, you’re screwed.

12. I think about the most important need people have is be loved for who they are, instead of for what they do. I think that need is what often drives popular public figures such as celebrities, politicians, and religious leaders to self-destruct. They destroy what’s bringing them the love they don’t want.

13. I’m (still) pretty thoroughly insane for the song “One Nation Under a Groove” by George Clinton and Funkadelic.

14. In junior high, quite by accident–and despite my being Gilligan thin–I set a California state junior high school record for the shot-put. I’d never putted a shot (as we in the trade say it) in my life. Suddenly I’d shattered a record for it that had stood for, like, thirty years. Complete freak.

15. After high school, instead of taking advantage of the four-year, fully paid scholarship offered to me by the University of Santa Clara, I moved from my lily-white neighborhood of Cupertino, CA to east Oakland, CA, where I remained the only white guy I saw for six months. I thought that experience might come in handy for me in my later life as a writer. And was I ever dead freakin’ right about that.

16. I make my living writing. Which means I work at home. Which means I make dinner and clean the house every night before my wife comes home from her job. Which means I have to go now. But this has been an excellent way to kill an hour. Thanks for reading it if you did! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Number 9! Oh my goodness! I love it. :] I await the Poetry Resurgence anxiously!

  • Dan Harrell


    I love 5, 11 and 12. It was nice to start the New Year with your great blog. In addition to sex keeping us humble, add writing and most other human efforts.

    I'm having enough of a hard time holding myself together, without having unrealistic expectations about others. That said, you better keep up the good work.


  • #10 and #12 were especially insightful, I thought.

    But don’t let that go to your head, Mr. Pretentious!

  • Red: I once posted a piece here about the whole Sex/God thing, called “Sex is God’s Way of Keeping Us Humble.” It’s here: http://tinyurl.com/7nrtj7
    (I also, come to that, once wrote “An Open Letter To Britney Spears,” which deals in large part with #12. That piece is …. here: http://tinyurl.com/7o3zee)
    Anyway, thanks so much for your very kind words. Happy New Year, friend.

  • Temi

    Hi John!am a huge fan of your writting from over here in the ukraine.your writting(and style)really cracks me up(at least most of the time)and i can relate to #6,i have the tendency to find normal things really funny too and that gets pretty embarrasing sometimes,anyways keep blogging(no breaks please!)so i can keep reading!

  • Latoya

    YUp, I can really relate to number six. sometimes I am laughing really hard and everybody else is wondering what the joke is. It has taken a while, but I no longer care that they all think I'm wierd. 😀

  • FreetoBe

    Yes! Yes to #13! But then I feel old, cause my kids tell me it's making a come-back as "old school". ;

  • Jeon

    I just happen to but into your article, well I think I saw it for a reason, I really enjoyed it, your funny..I love to smile so laughing alot falls in that bracket lol.. I like your honesty too and not being afraid to tell others about u, Im not there as yet, would like to be thou

  • Jeon: Thank you. (Why are you afraid to tell others about yourself? Actually, never mind: What sane person isn't a little afraid of telling strangers about themselves? Plus … who cares what someone you doesn't know thinks about you anyway, right?)