I am quite possibly the most awesome person you’ve ever seen. If you could bottle me and give me to poor people, they’d stop drinking malt liquor and become millionaires. I caused the extinction of dinosaurs and invented rock ‘n’ roll. I travel the earth on a flying gold-plated snowboard that shoots flames while the built-in 18-speaker stereo pumps out 10,000 uncut watts of my own personal theme song, performed by Jay-Z.
Okay, not really. What I am is a guy who’s lived in nine different states in the 40 years I’ve been alive. Somehow, I’ve managed to end up in Florida.
I help my wife put food on the table and keep the lights turned on by working as a copy editor at a newspaper. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it, either. They pay me, so I can’t complain. It’s not a job I’d do for charity.
I have a goofy and sometimes bizarre sense of humor. I’m sarcastic, but hopefully not in that cheap, unearned fashion which passes for wit and erudition these days. Dostoevsky said sarcasm is “the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.” That sounds about right.
Hey, did you notice how I name-dropped Dostoevsky in that last paragraph? I bet you were impressed, huh? Because, wow, Dostoevsky. Russian literature, huh. I must be one of those Deep Thinking Intellectuals or something.
Actually, I’m not. Or maybe I am. What I mean is: Yeah, I’m smart, I guess, in a bookish sort of way. I love Woody Allen movies. I actually read “War and Peace” from cover to cover. But I have an ambivalent relationship with intellectualism. I love big, loud, nasty muscle cars, for instance. I prefer beer and barbecue to wine and fine dining. Somebody who can rebuild the engine from a Peterbilt big-rig is just as impressive to me as a guy who can read Homer in the original Greek. People who are one-dimensionally intellectual tend to push me away.
That being said, I AM pretty geeky.
It has been reported to me by my acquaintances and coworkers that I am a very nice person and easy to get along with. Evidently, it has something to do with my Southern upbringing — though I’ve moved around a lot, both my parents were native Southerners and I grew up mostly in Huntsville, Alabama. At any rate, I seem to be blessed with that laid-back, Crisco-thick congeniality that Southerners are known for. I have no enemies.
The non-work portion of my life consists mainly of reading, a little writing (hence this blog), watching movies, playing video games, and doing work around the ol’ homestead for my lovely wife. If you give me an intriguing puzzle, I can spend hours at it. Ask my wife how I spent a big chunk of our honeymoon burning through hard Sudoku puzzles!
I used to look at the above description of my interests and hobbies and think: Boy, am I ever boring. (Perhaps you agree with that; if so, you are more than welcome to quit reading this and go back to the thrilling roller coaster ride that is your life. For God’s sake, life is short; don’t let ME waste your time.) But then I looked around at what other people do with their lives, and I realized that I wasn’t so bad. Many people’s lives do seem, outwardly, to be quite dull; but it’s the inner experience of life that counts. Through reading, I’ve sailed the stormy waters of the Atlantic on a 19th century whale hunt and faced down Napoleon’s armies on the road to Moscow; that’s a heck of a lot more gusto than most Americans living in the early 21st century will ever experience! There’s also a unique little high that comes from the intellectual satisfaction of completing a puzzle, a feeling that can’t be replicated with sex or drugs or the adrenaline rush of jumping out of an airplane. My life might not be a Mountain Dew commercial, but my experiences are as rich and exciting and meaningful as anybody else’s.
Oh, and did I mention I have a film degree? From USC School of Cinema, no less? So far, my diploma has made for a lovely $70,000 placemat. College is a giant scam, kids.