27. I was gonna go into my normal screed about how much I hate it that everyone thinks writing is easy, and that anyone can be a writer, but I realize it just makes me sound bitter and cranky. I’ll leave it at this: most people who call themselves writers are bad and they should stop.
28. I remembered one of the other Big Themes I am generally obsessed with in writing: the Futility of Human Desires. For someone who writes a lot of humor, I can be kind of a downer, apparently. Then again, these themes can all be funny as hell, because what’s funnier than someone not getting what they want?
29. I have an uncanny ability to say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time. Once, for example, I walked into one of my high school classes, and everyone was looking really mopey and blue, and I said “Jeez, who died?” It turns out one of our classmates had drowned over the weekend.
30. I’ve never really gotten to the point where I’d actually attempt suicide, but I think about it all the time. I honestly don’t think it’s that big a deal, and if there’s something I’ll never understand, it’s why people get mad at people who kill themselves.
31. Speaking of suicide, once I was really depressed. Mostly it was over a girl (of course), but there was a bunch of other stuff circulating in my dome at the time as well. And I wasn’t suicidal in a put-a-gun-in-my-mouth sense, but I was thinking about snuffing it more than usual. And the thing that saved my life was listening to “Hey Swifty” by the Ass Ponys. I can talk about this at incredibly tedious length if prompted.
32. The biggest regret that I have that doesn’t involve not being a fucking heel to people I cared about is that I never learned how to draw. It’s especially frustrating, given my love of comics, and it drives me just about batso that most of the people I know who are good artists are also good writers. Motherfuckers.
33. I have been shot at twice, stabbed once, and beaten up a handful of times. I’ve been arrested nine times and served one hitch in county jail. I have dealt drugs, sold weapons, and attacked someone for money. Pretty much not a day goes by that I’m not committing some crime or another. And yet I think I’d be a pretty lousy professional criminal.
34. I’m not poor anymore, but I still carry with me a poor person’s distrust of institutions. I have a real hard time getting comfortable with banks, doctors, schools, and cops.
35. Speaking of cops, once a cop beat me up when I didn’t deserve it. Another time, a cop in the same city didn’t beat me up when I did deserve it. That’s humanity for you.
36. I’m a lot less fucked up about money than I used to be, but I’m still pretty neurotic about it. It’s the thing I’m most ashamed of.
37. I don’t seem to have a specific physical type when it comes to women I’ve dated, or even women I’m attracted to. I don’t say this is admirable, just apparently sort of unusual. Fucking women, man, they’re all pretty, right?
38. On the other hand, I do seem to have a thing for women who are, or will eventually be, lesbians. This probably says something horrible about me.
39. I have met three Presidents of the United States , including our current one. I have met one Vice-President.
40. Here’s another roaring annoyance: when people say critics are just people who can’t do art themselves. Even if it were not obvious to anyone who isn’t a total jackass that criticism is an artform in itself, haven’t enough great artists come from the ranks of critics by now to put the lie to this ridiculous notion?
41. If you ask most guys what character from “The Office” they are, most of them will say Jim, or Dwight, or maybe Creed. I, on the other hand, am more of a heterosexual Oscar.
42. I am good at flirting over instant messenger. I am bad at flirting in person, because I am a fat awkward drunk. Obviously this means I should only date computer-generated chat bots.
43. I wish I was on a road trip right now.
44. Among the theories about family that I believe despite the fact that it’s probably a really stupid theory is that it’s almost impossible for someone who grew up without brothers or sisters to relate to someone who grew up with them, and vice versa.
45. Doing something that you think will impact the future, that might still mean something after you’re dead, is an act so simultaneously optimistic and audacious that it’s probably insane. I’m glad I know a lot of people who are like that.
46. I miss Chicago a lot, but I miss my friends from Chicago even more -- even the ones who aren’t in Chicago anymore. Chicago from 1995 to 2005 will forever be my favorite time and place.
47. I have the opposite of the tendency to talk shit about people behind their back. I love to shit-talk people to their faces. Conversely, I always seem to say really nice things about people when I know in circumstances where they’ll never hear about it.
48. The main thing that keeps me from becoming a Unabomer-style hermit is the hot showers. This is a ghastly thing to admit in these days of environmental peril but sometimes I take half-hour-long showers that don’t have anything to do with hygiene; I just like standing under hot water.
49. Something that’s become clear to me in recent years that I wish more writers would realize: the more a character resembles yourself, the less interesting and believable that character is. If you were all that interesting, you wouldn’t need to be a writer. Of course, every character you create is in some way a part of you, but the real strength of the great authors is to access those parts of themselves that they recognize the least.
50. I can’t do a goddamn single one of these more.